Sunday, September 8, 2013

Maria's Treasures Part 2

Maria let me borrow a few of her reproduction figures to draw at home, so here they are.  On the left is a carved stone reproduction of the medieval Sheela Na Gig from Kilpeck Church in Ireland.  Sheela Na Gigs are very old, dating back to the Neolithic period, and no one is absolutely sure what their meaning was exactly.  They are sometimes referred to as fertility figures, but they are often found in doorways in churches, which leads some scholars to consider them protection figures.  They don't have hair or large breasts usually, so some people think of them as older women and perhaps death figures;  and yet they're almost always smiling and jolly.  If you're interested in finding out more about these, go to

On the right at the top is a little stone lion, very beautifully carved in low relief.  And at the bottom is a Cycladic bird-goddess-like figure, very simply formed and painted with stripes and simplified features.

The little bronze piece on the left is a Minoan snake goddess from my collection, but Maria has one exactly like it.  Snake goddess figures were very popular in pre-Greek Minoan art.  Next is Maria's bronze goddess figure from Greece.  I don't know anything about this one.  On the left side of the right-hand page is what is called a stiff white goddess, from my collection.  This figure is carved from smooth, gray stone and has shallow incising.  It's Cycladic, and this type of goddess is usually associated with death and bones.  For more complete information on these and other female figures, Google Minoan stiff white goddess.  The figure on the far right is a kiln goddess that I made about twenty years ago for a primitive kiln that a group of us were using to do a low-temperature firing of some clay pieces. 

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