Columbia, South Carolina

Old May 2nd, 2021, 03:04 AM
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I'll see if I can post a picture of the nest

My friend who donated her NC pottery to the Mint is pretty much responsible for encouraging Burlon Craig to show his face jugs and thus a genre was born.
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 05:29 AM
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That's interesting. I didn't know his name. For me, Lanier Meaders was/ is the famous face jug name. But the genre began before both of them.
"This distinctive type of ceramic face vessel first appeared in the American South in the mid-1800s. Jugs such as these are attributed to a small number of black slaves working as potters in the Edgefield District of South Carolina. None of these skilled potters have been identified by name and their inspiration for making face vessels is unknown. Scholars speculate that the vessels may have had religious or burial significance, or that they reflect the complex responses of people attempting to live and maintain their personal identities under harsh conditions. The earliest face vessels known to have been produced by white southern potters were probably not made until the end of the 1800s. White potters working in the Edgefield area in the mid-1800s may have seen the slave-made vessels and taken the idea with them as they moved out of South Carolina."
Lanier Meaders continued the traditional ceramic craftsmanship in White County, Georgia, where stoneware was possibly in production as early as 1820. His grandfather, John Milton Meaders, opened the Meaders Pottery in 1893, employing his sons, Wiley, Caulder, Cleater, Cheever, and Casey, to assist hired local potters. Through these men the Meaders learned the basic techniques employed by Mossy Creek potters for over half a century—knowledge that passed to Lanier when his father, Cheever, took over the original family shop in 1920. By 1930, the Meaders were the last of the family potteries in Mossy Creek.

When a Doris Ullman photograph of Cheever and his family was published in Allen Eaton Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands in the late 1930s, the demand for Meaders stoneware significantly changed from utilitarian wares to whimsies such as face jugs. Lanier became a full-time potter after his father’s death in 1967, initially producing an order of face jugs for the Smithsonian Institution’s first Festival of American Folklife. Although he continues to make household stoneware, these face jugs are now his specialty.
Photo of a BC face jug -
During Prohibition, face jugs were used to store whiskey and were often made with ugly features to scare children away from sneaking a taste. Burlon Craig made the blue glaze on this pot using ground glass, oak ash, clay, and water found near his home in Catawba Valley. After he molded his jugs on a foot-powered wheel and gave them their first firing, Craig would “dip ‘em in a drum of glaze, let some run inside, and give ‘em a roll.” (Chuck and Jan Rosenak, Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia, 1990)

Burlon B. Craig (ca. 1914-2002) was born in Lincoln County, North Carolina and learned to make pottery as a teenager. When Craig returned from service in the Navy following World War II he purchased the Reinhardt farm and pottery complex in Vale, North Carolina. The pottery operation included a groundhog kiln and fully equipped shop. His pottery was featured in several publications and in 1981 examples of his work were added to the Smithsonian Institution collection. In 1984 he received the National Endowment for the Arts' National Heritage Fellowship. Craig continued to live and work in Vale until his death in 2002.
Meaders' grandfather, John Milton Meaders, started a pottery business in the community of
Mossy Creek, Georgia in 1893, employing his five sons. Son Cheever Meaders took over the business in 1920.[4] Grandson Lanier Meaders continued the traditional ceramic craftsmanship of his forefathers by producing alkaline-glazed stoneware, solely working with a foot-powered treadle wheel and a wood-fired kiln. Like his father, he used materials that were indigenous to the region. His ash glaze was made of sifted ashes from his kiln, Albany slip and regular stonewear clay, and powdered calcium carbonate. Meaders typically created pieces in earth-brown, olive-green and rust-gray similar to those while a young apprentice to his father.

Down the face jug rabbit hole - LOL
To be honest, I don't really like them. But I do love exploring the potteries. There was a potter that was famous for red glaze and I bought some pieces about 20 years ago from Burton Gallery in NE GA - about 20 miles from the Mossy Creek/ Cleveland area.

Trying to find the name of the potter, I found this -
Georgia: Georgia Folk Pottery (Local Legacies: Celebrating Community Roots - Library of Congress)
From the 1820s through the 1840s, Georgia experienced a growth of pottery-making centers, called "jugtowns." "

And then the name just popped into my head = Ben Owens
And he's in Seagrove!

If anyone is in the N GA mountains, go to Mark of the Potter, along the Soque River -
One of my favorite places anywhere.

They sell pottery from one of my favorite potteries = Happy Valley. I loved her work for years and then discovered their rejects sale once a year.
They closed their gallery in Watkinsville -
Watkinsville art pioneers retire: Chappelle Gallery to close Monday | News |
But are still open at the pottery -

Sorry for the rambling...
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Old May 2nd, 2021, 05:36 AM
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Bringing it back to Columbia and SC -
Depending on when you go on your trip, be sure to stop at a farmstand if peaches are in season -
Georgia is called the Peach State but SC actually produces more peaches.

(But including the NE GA mountains again, Osage will be full of SC peaches too)

Last edited by starrs; May 2nd, 2021 at 05:45 AM.
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Old May 3rd, 2021, 02:53 AM
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Glad someone recognizes SC peaches really ARE the best!! Gaffney has the Peachoid--a water tower paited to look EXACTLY a summer ripe peach!!

If the oP goes to Seagrove I have gotten some nice face jugs at Luck Pottery.. They are not always in stock--and not everyone's "cuppa tea". Glad to read about the many facets of the art pottery.
Another story--I was in a 7-11 and have a really really cute face jug necklace--it is tiny--1.5 inches and more detailed than a lot of 2 foot ones I've seen. The clerk was immediately interested in it and said his grandpa used to make face jugs in Lincolnton--Burlon Craig.
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Old May 3rd, 2021, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
Glad someone recognizes SC peaches really ARE the best!!
Now, now, now.... Simmer down...
I didn't say "best". I said MORE! LOL
I do think the September ones were the sweetest I've had though. Maybe because I knew they were the last for a long time.

....The clerk was immediately interested in it and said his grandpa used to make face jugs in Lincolnton--Burlon Craig.

That's cool!
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