Expressive Face Jugs of NC

Lauren Mann

Lesson Goals

1. Understand and discuss the relationship between NC cultural heritage and pottery making, specifically face jugs.
2. Safely and effectively manipulate clay and pottery tools.
3. Create a face jug, demonstrating their knowledge of pottery building and glazing techniques.

Connect clay techniques and the traditions of NC face jug pottery and cultural heritage, in this visual art and social studies integrated lesson.


Letter size copy paper, 2-3 sheets per student
Pencils and erasers
White or red earthenware clay, 2 pounds per student
Clay tools
Water containers
Slip containers
Canvas mats or clay boards, 1 per student
Plastic bags
Paper towels


DAY 1:
Give a brief introduction of NC pottery capital Seagrove. Introduce face jugs and their cultural origin and link to NC. Show this PBS video clip:
Discuss video clip: what did you learn, what did you notice, what stuck with you the most?
Use iPads/technology to research images of face jugs and clay vessels.
Use paper to create thumbnail sketches of face jug designs. (Thumbnail sketches are quick, abbreviated drawings, usually done very rapidly and with no corrections. You can use any medium, though pen or pencil is the most common. Thumbnail sketches usually are very small, often only an inch or two high.)

Teacher discusses the importance of planning and drawing sketches for their final artwork. Sketches may be changed, but are used as a blueprint.
Students share sketches with table partners for feedback. Each student chooses their favorite sketch to use as a guide for their face jug. Teacher input for most workable sketch is also valuable.
Students plan a front, profile, and back view of their face jug. What is the shape of their clay vessel? Tall and thin, or short and wide? What elements will they include? A handle? Details of the face? Patterns on the clay?
Students finalize their design and may even move onto color planning for their glaze application.

Teacher demonstrates building a face jug. Teacher will build a base, show coil rolling, and demonstrate building the vessel with coils, by adding slip and scoring between layers.
The teacher will show techniques of smoothing clay by hand and with tools. After the jug has a smooth outer surface, the teacher will demonstrate adding facial features, with scoring and adding slip, so that the pieces do not fall off.
Throughout the demonstration, the teacher will discuss and model proper handling and usage of the clay and clay tools. Encourage students to keep the clay dust at a minimum for health concerns.

Students will refer to their drawing, looking at the shape of their jug. Students will begin making a coil pot, first making the base, and then building up with coils. Students need to be reminded to score and smooth between each coil.
Store artwork on board, wrapped in plastic, so that clay does not dry out.

Students will continue to build their vessel. Depending on time, this may run into week 2.

Students will continue to build their vessel, smoothing the outer surface, in preparation of adding facial features. Students will add facial features by scoring and adding slip. They may also wish to add a handle or two. Finishing touches will be discussed such as small details, eyebrows, hair texture, etc. Make sure student name and homeroom are carved on the bottom of the jug.

The face jugs will need to dry out for at least a week before firing. During this time, the teacher shows a glazing demonstration. Students may begin working on another classroom project or dive deeper into NC history and culture. ELA extension projects may be added, along with research and writing additions.

Students will glaze their pottery, using three coats of glaze (or directions on label) to create bold color coverage. After glazing, pottery will need to be fired again.
With final pottery on display, students can use a variety of reflective activities such as a gallery walk and discussion.

Differentiation Approaches

Students with fine motor difficulties can make smaller clay vessels, using pinch pot techniques.


Level 4 – Exemplary Student consistently demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the standards, concepts, and skills taught during this reporting period.
Level 3 – Proficient Student consistently demonstrates an understanding of the standard, concepts, and skills taught during this reporting period.
Level 2 – Approaching Proficiency Student is approaching an understanding of the standards, concepts, and skills taught during this reporting period.
Level 1 – Non-Proficient Student does not yet demonstrate an understanding of the standards, concepts, and skills taught during this reporting period.

Assessment Checklist:
___ Transforms 2D drawing to 3D clay vessel
___ Demonstrates an understanding of face jug vessels in relation to NC culture and history
___ Appropriate usage of clay tools, handbuilding techniques, and glaze application

Follow Up and Extension Ideas

Students can create an interpretive dance of the history of face jugs and the culture from which they derive from in NC. This can also become part of a unit of study based on the crafts and arts from NC, including textiles and furniture making.

Additional Details

‹ Back to Search Results