What can a potter do with 28 pounds of clay? If you ask most artists, they'd tell you that you can make 3 or 4 decent-sized pieces of pottery. If you ask folk art potter Roger Corn of Lula, Georgia, he'll give you a thoughtful look, a sideways grin, and pull out a photo album. And you know a story is waiting to be told.
After about a decade of making pottery, Roger had made lots of different types of vessels. Around October of 1998, he had an idea for something a little bit different. If you know Roger, and the way he tells the whole truth in ALL THINGS, ALWAYS, you can imagine him in his Jimmy Stewart manner telling you "I had this idea, and truth be told, it probably wasn't a very good one." He decided to pick up a block of clay from the local pottery center, and use the entire thing to make ONE JUG. Upon picking up his clay, he found that the 25-lb block he had ordered actually weighed in at 28.5 lbs - because here in Georgia, we believe in giving a man what he paid for - and maybe just a little more.
If you've ever turned a piece of pottery, you probably know how much upper body strength is required in order to create a large piece. At 28.5 pounds, a potter needs to be a body-builder, a piano mover, or perhaps a man with a stubborn streak who is a descendant of Luke Corn (Old Luke was not a big man, but no one ever dared tell him he couldn't do something, because he'd do it or die trying - and that's exactly what he did, but we'll save that story for another blog) to be able to manipulate the clay. Well, luck would have it that Roger happens to be in the third category, so he got straight to work.
Here you can see the process of turning this massive block of clay into a work of art.
Just look at the massive size of this jug! Roger knew that the jug was extraordinary, but it still had to be decorated, and that raised the question as to HOW you decorate a jug of this size. Roger decided that in true North Georgia Folk Pottery style, the jug had to be a face jug. How do you make a face jug extra special, though?
It turns out, there's only one answer; you don't add a face. Easy enough! A face jug with no face!
Oh wait, he's not finished telling me the story. I hate it when I guess the ending - and I'm completely wrong...
No you don't add a face, you add a dozen faces; and thereby create one of the most unique statement pieces in today's folk pottery. The finished product is pictured below.
This jug is one of only two that Roger has made. He is currently searching for the pieces. One is known to be in or around Kennesaw, Georgia. Please contact us if you have information as to their whereabouts.