Face Jug, about 1974, glazed stoneware by Evan Javan Brown, Sr.
Face jugs grew out of the old Appalachian tradition of placing a jug with human features on a person’s grave. If the clay cracked before one year had passed, it meant the deceased was fighting the devil. Davis P. Brown, the founder of Brown’s Pottery and Javan’s brother, made the first devil jug in the early 1920s, which he placed outside the store’s door to attract attention. Javan Brown probably crafted this face jug in his own workshop in Valdese, North Carolina. He made the teeth from pieces of broken plate, and used a thick black glaze to emphasize the face’s ugly features.