By day, cashier works with students; By night, she sculpts faces in clay

Kiera Manion-Fischer

Cheryl Green, 61, reminisces about creating her pottery for the face jug exhibit in the Music Listening Center on the second floor of the Student Center. DAVID RANUCCI | SUMMER KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

Sculpted human faces look out from clay jugs on display in the Music Listening Center. Some seem kind, while others appear slightly sarcastic.

Downstairs, artist Cheryl Green works as a cashier at the Kent Market.

“Being a cashier is what I do right now,” she said. “But an artist is who I am.”

An exhibit of Green’s work, called “Face Jugs,” will be on display from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until Aug. 3 in the Music Listening Center on the second floor of the Student Center.

Each piece is hand-thrown on a potter’s wheel and has a distinctive face carved into its glazed surface.

“Even though the body of work has a central theme, each piece is individual and has its own personality,” Green said.

She said she gives the jugs names when they’re finished.

“It sounds stupid,” she said. “But they speak to me.”

Veronica’s face emerges out of one of the pots. She’s pale grey, with a gold tooth shining out of her smiling face.

Green collects unusual names for the jugs, some of which she sees on FlashCards while working the at Kent Market.

Pam Struthers, another Kent Market cashier and a friend of Green’s, said she likes how each piece has a unique name. Her favorite one is a baby named Yanni.

“That one’s so cute,” she said. “It looks so peaceful, like it’s sleeping.”

Vicki Bocchicchio, Honors college curriculum coordinator, visited the exhibit too.

“I like ‘Iola,'” she said. “I like the expression on her face.”

Bocchicchio said she thought many of the jugs looked comical, but she was drawn to Iola’s seriousness.

Before Green moved to Brady Lake in 1999, she lived in Maine and had a high-volume production studio in the woods. She was self-employed as a potter for 20 years and still has a studio in Brady Lake.

Now, she said she wants to give her work more of an “artistic flair.”

She said the idea of jugs with faces originated with decorated whiskey containers in the South. The faces’ features were scary, she said, and were probably meant to frighten children.

“The ones that I make are sort of gentler and sort of reflect myself,” Green said.

At 61, Green is considering retirement. She said she used to have the stamina to move many pieces to craft fairs, but has now found a solution by making pottery for dollhouses. She said she can carry 300 pieces in one box, and she even made a miniature face jug.

Green sold one of her full-size face jugs on eBay for $225.

“I’ve never sold a piece of pottery for that much in my life,” she said.

This is her first exhibit at Kent State. She said she got the idea because she hasn’t seen many exhibits in the summer, although there are many throughout the school year.

Whether she is preparing her work for an exhibit or not, Green said her goal is to put emotion into each piece.

“If you look at Lucien,” she said. “It’s not just a nose and eyes and mouth. It’s almost like he’s thinking something.”

Contact principal reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected].