For many the appeal of character head jugs is their unique faces and rugged features. These pottery pieces became popular starting in the 1700s in the pottery center of England, Staffordshire. Since then these quaint little vessels have charmed their way into the china cupboards of many a pottery collector, cherished for their rosy cheeks hand-painted with care.
How these jugs were made is a fascinating process. The original is created by hand from an artist hired to work on specific characters. Then a mold is made from the originals so that it can be produced in great numbers with minimal cost.
The handles and even some of the smaller features are sometimes added as separate pieces onto the main body of the vessel. They are then fired, glazed, and then fired again in gas kilns.
Some of the most beloved character jugs have been Long John Silver and the hearty goodfellow, both personas representing 18th century style.