Thursday, June 23, 2011

Folk Art Memory Jug... and Speaking of Altered Art

Did you think that altered art was the creation of hip young artists? Not so. Check out this memory jug I picked up last week.
An old cracked vessel was re-purposed into this wonderful bit of folk art. The exact origins of memory jugs are sketchy.  Some believe that they were fist seen in Southern African American cemeteries. They were covered with mementos relevant to the life of the deceased and used as grave markers.
Others believe that those wacky Victorians who loved scrapbooking, took it to the next level by embellishing objects with what we at the cottage call "schnibbles and bits".
This particular piece is well done, with artfully arranged shells surrounding various objects.
Broken jewelry, buttons, medals...
 dog tags, advertising pieces, sewing objects
souvenir pieces
and even a doll eye appear on this marvelous piece. Based on the items used, I believe this piece was created in Wisconsin or Minnesota around 1900. 
It's a marvelous bit of history.

****Speaking of Altered Art**** 
The talented mother/daughter duo of Candyce Martens & Jill Kerns of Altered Ever After are offering their first class on August 31st. Candyce and Jill have been featured in multiple publications and are now going to share their knowledge with the rest of us.  I need to exercise my creativity more and can't wait to participate in this class.  The class includes lunch - check out Candy's post on the location. Would love to meet some of you there!


  1. These are some of my favorite things in the world. This one truly is a beauty!

  2. It is a treasure Jan and time was taken in it's creation. ♥O

  3. this is one of the best that I have ever seen. Hope you make a ton of money on it...

  4. Thanks so much for stopping by. . . I can tell by the first pic alone that you sure do like flags. Following you too!

  5. Wow, isn't the jug fantastic! I have seen them on tv before, but didn't know the history, fascinating. I have a shell display thingme I bought yonks ago, but I don't think it is as old and is probably more sailor art. I will post it up one day. I love the doll eye, or is it a real glass eye? Tam x

  6. Fantastic Memory Jug!! Thanks for sharing!


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