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Article: What type of fish is a glug jug?

What type of fish is a glug jug?
Glug Jugs

What type of fish is a glug jug?

This is a question that a lot of people have asked, and over the 150 of glug jugs being produced, there have been plenty of variations and interpretations in style. 

These jugs are based on a leaping fish, and many believe that the glug jugs represent a koi carp or a cod.  However, we believe them to be a generic fish, especially our version, as we have designed the glug jugs by Gurgly without pectoral fins on the front.  

The pectoral fins allow fish to make abrupt changes in side-to-side direction and speed, they also act as a brake to decrease speed while swimming.  

So, if our fish were real, it would have huge problems, and probably be eaten by predators, as it would not be able to dart out of the way of prey.   Our reason for not including these fins, is we feel that it is ascetically more pleasing, as it gives the jug a smooth tummy, while the fine glazing enhances the scale definition, and it looks far more attractive.


When glug jugs were first produced in the 1870s, Majolica (a type of hand-painting) was very popular, and the glug jugs produced during this time, were painted in colours that would, possibly, imply that they were based on a trout.  However, there is no historical record to confirm or deny this.   


Over the years, there have been so many variations of the glug jugs produced, all slightly different, to varying degrees.  Some are completely stylised with no scales and a mouth that looks more like a beak but on first glance, the shape of the product with its distinctive curled tail, which is needed to make the ‘glug’ sound, essentially tells you that the jug is designed in the shape of a fish.


How do you style a glug jug?

The beautiful thing about glug jugs is how versatile they are.   Essentially, they were designed as a water jug to be used on the table, making a distinctive ‘glug glug’ sound when water is poured and the jug is righted.    As they are attractive, unlike many glass water jugs, they can be left out on a window sill as a decorative ornament, ready to fill with water and put on the table when needed, and we all know how good drinking water is for us.


The distinctive shape of a glug jug makes it an attractive ornament in its own right and makes a wonderful statement.    They also look wonderful used as a vase, filled with flowers, whether matching or contrasting.  Our favourite is our large aqua jug filled with pink flowers – just stunning!     Gurgly offers 3 sizes in a variety of colours, and offer a colour to suit your colour scheme.  Whether Scandi, bright and colourful, minimalist or traditional, we hopefully have it covered.     


The mini jugs are the cutest and can be styled as table decorations or even used as shot glasses.  As table decorations, whether using matching or different colours, we would suggest choosing an uneven number, placing them on a mirrored mat, and filling them with flowers or herbs. 

The filled jugs, with the reflection from the mats, will look fabulous, especially if there is also candlelight on the table.  Alongside the decorations can be large jugs filled with water.  All that’s needed now is food and wine to get the party started!


The other option for styling a glug jug, is to wrap it in pretty paper and give it as a memorable gift to someone special.  They are so versatile, and they work for all ages, genders, and occasions.  If you’re stuck for a present … look no further!


Glug jugs – a novelty that cannot be ignored


It’s an exciting time to be selling glug jugs, as they appear to be the ‘product of the moment’, and so popular across all generations.   This year, they were featured in The Great Pottery Throw Down, which aired on Sunday, January 14th – Series 7: Episode 2.    

The talented contestants were tasked with producing a pair of personalised ‘Gluggle Jugs’ (a name we proudly created in 2009, which has now become synonymous with this shape of water jug).   The potters were instructed to design a jug as a tribute to a special person in their lives.  

Glug jugs are currently made using the traditional method of slip casting, which is pouring liquid clay into a plaster mould to create the form of the jug.  However, to make it more difficult, the contestants had to produce them using a different process – coiling. 

This is done by moulding clay into cylindrical sausage shapes and using these coils to make the jug, by building it up from the base.   This would have been extremely complicated, as the jugs are not a uniform shape.  The joins between the coils would need to be absolutely sealed and watertight to stop leakage, just a small requirement of a water jug, or vase!   

While making the jugs, the potters also needed to create a space in the tail to form a vacuum - this is the magic trigger that produces the signature ‘gurgle’ sound when water is poured.   

We were so impressed to see how diligently they worked and the creative ideas, additions, and decorations they came up with.  

At the end of the programme, all the pieces were judged and, impressively, all the jugs glugged.  

Sadly though, there could only be one winner – Cadi Froehlich from Brighton, cinched the win, by producing a pair of jugs in celebration of her sister, titled ‘Come Rain or Shine’.    All the potters were worthy of winning, as every glug jug produced was a stunner!



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A shelf full of colourful Gurgly fish jugs
Glug Jugs

How does a glug jug work?

The fish-shaped ceramic Glug jugs have been cleverly designed inside to make a fun glugging sound when liquid is poured. Water bubbles up from the hollow tail so that when the jug is poured or righ...

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