Ugly Jugs or Face Jugs are an African American tradition that dates back to the days of slavery. There is not a lot of writing about the history of these jugs as most slaves could not read or write but there are many speculations on why these jugs were made. Ugly Jugs were found among grave sites and are said to scare away evil spirits. Another reason they might have been made ugly is to scare away children from drinking what was inside (moonshine). I, of course, don't tell my 5th graders this theory but I thought it was an interesting one to share!
We start by making two pinch pots. Then we build the face. Finally we connected them, using slip and score, and made a spout.
These are the fourth graders Ugly Jugs.
By the way I got the idea from my husband. I asked him "what art project was your absolutely favorite when you were in school." Without hesitation he said "My UGLY JUG!"
Ask a person who is not an art teacher what their favorite art project was and do tell! I love art projects that have impact.
P.S. If you happen to have the PBS video about face jugs please let me know how you got it! I have been trying to get one but PBS told me they are out of print.