I have an ongoing project to make posts for mental_floss articles I wrote way back when that I do not have an archive for. Here's another one, from 2007.
I was afraid of what would come up when I Googled "ugly jugs," but with safe search, I found just what I was looking for. Jugs with faces date back to antiquity, but became an American folk art tradition. The time and place this tradition began depends on your source, and the jugs had several purported purposes which could all be valid. Find out more about ugly jugs in a post I wrote for mental_floss.