Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Going Down to Georgia

We will be heading to Georgia tomorrow. Unfortunately, we won't be heading to the High Museum to see the terracotta warriors. Instead, we're going to spend New Year's Eve with some friends in Monroe where there will be much fun had by all, I'm sure. But, curiously, as I was flipping through my new book on Alabama Folk pottery I noticed these great pieces (below). They were made by John Lehman and one is in the High Museum's permanent collection. Ha! Lehman was born in Baden Germany in 1825 and made his way to the Southeast by late 1850's.
"Notwithstanding the efforts of art historians, collectors, and family descendants, tantalizingly few details of Lehman's life are known. According to family history, someone robbed and murdered him around 1883-84 while he was on a trip to Stockton, Georgia."

---excerpted from Alabama Folk Pottery, Joey Brackner, 2006, University of Alabama Press

"The[se] jugs are 22 and 23 3/4 inches in height and are ash glazed. Both are waist to head busts of an African or African American man in formal attire with large hoop earrings and a large belt buckle. Lehman's makers marks are stamped on the figure's lapels. The arms are hollow with small holes in each to prevent an explosion during the firing. These vessels have caused much excitement among collectors of southern pottery."

---from Alabama Folk Pottery, Joey Brackner, 2006, University of Alabama Press
Interesting. Coincidental?

Maybe I should add the face jug or "figural " jug to my making list when it comes time to make pots. I haven't made any since I was a college student. For some reason I have hesitated to enter the fray of face jug production , but these pieces are very interesting in a non-grotesque sort of way. After reading Dan's article about the subject of face "juggery", maybe it's OK. Never say never.

Here is another link to some Alabama pots.