Ceramic figures, copies of Etruscan, Chinese, New Mexican and pre-Columbian statues

My first four ceramic figures were done in the a workshop at the Oliver Art Center  in Frankfurt, MI, led by Steve Kline. New to this art form, I am indebted to the guidance of Steve – sensitive to when I needed help or was capable of proceeding on my own. 

The Etruscan boy was copied from a photo of a votive bronze statuette,  third century B.C. in the Museo Etrusco Guarnacci in  Volterra.  Wondering what this lumbering little guy was up to. 

Etruscan boy, 10 x 3 inEtruscan Boy, 10 x 3 in

The female Chinese dancer, earthen ware, stems from the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – A.D. 9). The statue was excavated in 1989-1990 in the tomb of the prince of Chu, Tuolanshan, Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province. My copy was done from a postcard bought at the MET, NYC.  I am intrigued but the dancer’s wide swaying stance. 

Female Dancer, 9 x 8 in

Saint Anthony was modeled using a photo of a  wood statue in the Museum of International Folk Art, New Mexico. From en.wikipedia: He is especially invoked and venerated all over the world as the patron saint for the recovery of lost items and is credited with many miracles involving lost people, lost things and even lost spiritual goods. I view my little statue as finding lost souls. 

Saint Anthony, 9 x 4 in


My ceramic copy of a Pre Columbian acrobat figure dating around 600AD – an inspiration for striving for agility.

Meso-American acrobat on exhibition at oliverart.org, height 11 in


My copy of a Pre Columbian Warrior Amulet

26 cm high


My copy of the Etruscan boy was thinly glazed with Amaco Celadon Rainforest.

My copy of the Female Dancer was glazed first with Amaco Celadon Tangelo followed by Amaco Celadon Green to highlight the shadows of her robe,

My copy of Saint Anthony was first painted with Amaco Celadon Cobalt Blue which then was brushed off the face and hands. Face and hands were subsequently painted with Amaco Celadon Tangelo and folds of the robe were overpainted with Amaco Celadon Rainforest. The latter glazes were mostly obscured by the more powerful Celadon Cobalt – fortuitous as the shape of the figure is better seen with a coherent glaze.

My copy of the Meso-American Acrobat was glazed with three Amaco Celadon glazes: Mulberry, Snow and Sky.  My artist friend Dewey Blocksma  mounted the acrobat on a walnut base. 

My copy of a Pre Columbian Warrior Amulet was glazed with Amaco Celadon Snapdragon and Obsidian.




4 thoughts on “Ceramic figures, copies of Etruscan, Chinese, New Mexican and pre-Columbian statues”

  1. What a gift to watch your artistic medium change hands …Literally!

    Your years of human anatomy classes, sketches are a natural fit with your detailed color awareness that were just awaiting to be expressed in 3 Dimension.

    The pieces show your delightful determination so enjoy!

  2. Thank you, Cindy. I am hoping that working in ceramics, a 3-D exercise, will help my painting human figures. I am limiting my color choices to the celadon glazes available in the workshop and Tangelo that I bought myself. Experimenting with glazes will be fun.

  3. Hello Birgit, I am totally in love with your ceramic creations! I have thought of them several times since you shared them with us. Thank you for the backstory of each piece, it only endears them all the more to the viewer. You have a whole new dimension to explore. I love their primitive quality and the glazes are delightful.
    they make me happy….

  4. Katherine, I am happy that you love my little people. They stand on my desk where Troels and I enjoy them. While I am fond of all three, my grandson prefers the dancer and Troels the Etruscan boy. – When I first started doing little people, I was giddy with awe as if I was a real creators of persons.

    I am beginning to understand, what I really like doing is painting, preferably smushing paint with my fingers, and ceramics. For 9 years, I did live drawing in NYC and never got really good. I now started drawing from books, but just doing gestures to learn to see shapes rather than doing the, for me ‘tedious’, fine details. One of my art buddies told me yesterday, do what you are good at. It now makes sense to me. – Enjoy your writing.

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