I am an attorney by day, and a self-taught artist/folk artist/primative -- whatever you want to call me -- by night. I work in ceramic, and my bottles, jugs, and jars can be found in collections across the United States of America. I like to push my work to be as outrageous as I possibly can get.
Face jugs are an old American art form. While I work in traditional methods, I continue to push my work into the bizarre and untamed. What I do is guaranteed to get a reaction. Ambivalence is rejected!
At the risk of sounding pretentious, I generally sign my work "Robert Asa Crook." As strange as it may sound, there are other "Robert Crook's" out there, but only one with "Asa" in the middle - it's a name that goes back to the 1700s in my family, and I am one of many men in my family who have had the name.
Family history is important to me, and it affects my artwork. My mother and her family come from east Texas. My grandfather - "Bapa" as we knew him - used to keep whiskey in face jugs high and out of reach from my sister and I. These old pottery jugs were scary as could be imagined, and I later learned that they were made that way to keep children from nipping into the rotgut.
Face jugs are an old American art form that goes back centuries in our country with its roots all over the globe. You will see a number of such jugs in my portfolio and, to the best of my knowledge, I am the only ceramicist who consistently makes these jugs on the West Coast - while at the same time keeping very busy as an attorney based in Southern California.
I am one of my biggest fans. Whether it is a jug, jar, or statue, you can be sure that it put a smile on my face - and gave me a few chuckles - when I made it. If anything I make gets a reaction from someone, my mission has been accomplished.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org