Tag Archives: shaman sculpture

Shamanic sculpture vision



Dagur-female shaman-with-her-drum,-1931

Dagur shaman with her drum, 1931.


A collection of Shaman sculptures are on display here including some “dreamer dreaming’ pieces from Clayton Thiel, powerful shaman panel figures from Daniel Hawkins and unique shaman doll sculptures from the Russian Popovy sisters. The transformational shaman theme is explored with ancient and contemporary examples. Understanding the rareified realm of the Shaman is not easy to grasp for us mere mortals. Over the ages, from Siberia down to Tasmania and most countries in-between there have been isolated occurrences of practicing Shamans sharing their knowledge. Because the dominant cultural narrative dismisses most forms of “psychic” awareness, their path is rarely recognized or embraced. Some artists feel a connection to this mystical otherworldly phenomena and thankfully explore it through their art. Others traverse it without even knowing and act as conduits for others to have deeper experiences of consciousness through viewing art. The art presented here was sourced fairly easily without requiring much searching, it felt like it was pre-assembled, which was fitting considering the subject matter.
I once met a shaman in a dream. He approached me holding a white dove with a group of his followers. With a flick of his hand it darted towards me like a missile and became this swirling vortex of energy and light which entered me and went down into my chest. It then re-emerged from my heart and sat calmly in my hand. This was acknowledged as some sort of achievement. Apart from the obvious symbolism I understood this dream as a sign of potential and guidance for connecting with animals. I was also interested to see birds being a recurring theme in the images that manifested while I was researching this post along with other animal totems.




‘Snow Spirit’ sculpture – Yuki Onna



Zande-people-of-D.R.-Congo pottery vessel

Ritual figural vessel from the Zande people of D.R. Congo





Shaman’s Rattle, Northwest Coast, USA

19th Century



Atelier Stella. Chief Square Head Totem in Terracotta.

Atelier Stella. ‘Chief Square Head Totem’ in Terracotta.



Amanda-Shelsher-female bust with an occupied row boat on her head

‘Perfect Storm’Amanda Shelsher. 2015

Photo Bewley Shaylor





Mochica 4 Period  —  Shaman with an owl mask  The owl was regarded for giving assistance in the afterlife and the  Inuit saw the Owl as a source of guidance and help.

AD 400 – 600.




Erlenmeyer Painter Greek, Corinthian,-610---600-BC

Vessel decoration by Erlenmeyer Painter Greek, Corinthian, 610—600-BC



Becky-Gray-_guarded-female head sculpture

Becky Gray  – ‘Guarded’ female head sculpture

“The dichotomy within man mimics that of nature — full of beauty on one hand and destruction on the other,” notes Gray. “In my work, however, I endeavor to convey the inherent goodness within mankind, whether quietly masked or direct.”



Jan Verhees – ‘Moongoddess’


“I feel my sculpture evokes ancient cultures with vestal virgins and priestesses predicting the future by the flight of birds , or the position of the moon. I think this seer is in trance looking at Selene , the moon goddess showing the characteristics of: slim, elegant, elongated, chaste, introverted” — Jan Verhees




Anne-Meyer---Mishima-Lady - sculpture of a kneeling naked woman

Anne Meyer— ‘Mishima Lady’

“I am an artist who has worked in several mediums and has been focused on art-making since I could talk. Recently I have enjoyed making figurative ceramic sculpture as it combines my training in clay with an older love of drawing. It is intuitive to me to build hollow figures from slabs and coils of clay.”




The tree of knowledge - Ivan K Ivanov Blue and white ceramic tree

‘The tree of knowledge’ – Ivan K Ivanov



Clayton Thiel


Clayton Thiel has been sculpting clay and stone for more then 40 years. After gaining his BA in sculpture from Maryville University in 1979, he studied with Peter Voulkos, Manuel Neri and Joan Brown in the the San Francisco Bay area. Like the body of Shaman pieces he has created, he explores sunconscious themes, tapping into dream visages of a surreal quality and also draws inspiration from elemental nature forces and the tranformative.
The dynamic which emerges from juxtapositions between smooth and rough surface textures and light and dark colors has an omnipotent presence in his works along with the mystical symbolism. Thiel states – “These designs are in nature and nature is my inspiration. There is a meditative process that happens when I am building these pieces. Once I have made a big head or a shaman they take a life of their own – demanding I make some choices about the story wanting to be told. I don’t plan these things – rather there is an intuitive decision making process that I have come to surrender to.”
Clayton Thiel’s Shaman series, shown below, also calls upon the dreamer archetype, as a shaman represents one who can hold and move the visions of the world and be a guide through the dream world. Another source of inspiration for many of his pieces comes from his own personal work with the ceremonies and practices of the ancient Inca medicine wheel that has taught him how reclaim the childlike dreamer in his own life, which he likes to depict in his artwork. He also admires the surrealist artists of the 20th century and their abilty to merge improbable combinations of dreams, memories and reflections, and make them appear possible.


Clayton Thiel- Dreamer Dreaming in Eight Parts -- large head sculpture

Clayton Thiel – ‘Dreamer Dreaming in Eight Parts’ 




Clayton Thiel_Stone_Sculptures Truth Sayer Shaman in spiral cape and blue clouds

Clayton Thiel –  ‘Truth Sayer’ ceramic sculpture



standing spiral figure sculpture Clayton Thiel_Stone_Sculptures

Standing spiral figure sculpture – Clayton Thiel




Clayton Thiel – ‘Hummingbird’



Clayton_Thiel_Spirit_Tree - ceramic sculpture of a green head with a tree on top

 ‘Spirit Tree’  – Clayton Thiel



Clayton_Thiel_ShamanicFigures_Raven-Magic black raven saculpture

Clayton Thiel Shamanic Figures ‘Raven Magic’ 



Clayton Thiel spiral vase

Ovoid spiral vase – Clayton Thiel


Clayton_Thiel_Shamanic Figures_Quetzalcoatl-sculpture

Clayton Thiel – ‘Quetzalcoatl’


clayton_thiel_bigHeads_Memory Sculpture of a head with arched buildings on top

Clayton Thiel – ‘Memory’

Big Heads series –



Clayton Thiel – ‘My Familiar’



Clayton_Thiel_ShamanicFigures_Raven-House - Black Raven ond small house

‘Raven House’ – Clayton Thiel

Shamanic Figures series


Clayton_Thiel_eagle sculpture

Clayton Thiel –  ‘Eagle’




clayton_thiel_bigheads_Visitation Green head with shaman above

Clayton Thiel – ‘Visitation’




Clayton Thiel – ‘Moonrise Sunset’




King Head Clayton Thiel head sculpture

‘King Head’  – Clayton Thiel




Clayton-Thiel-ceramic-head sculpture

‘Tree House I Never Got to Build’  – Clayton Thiel


Clayton Thiel website




Fox Warrior ceramic Bottle, c. 4th – 6th century C.E., Moche, Peru MET

Fox Warrior ceramic bottle, c. 4th – 6th century C.E., Moche, Peru




‘Shaman Gold Mask’ – Daniel Hawkins



‘Shaman’ – Daniel  Hawkins





The-Shaman Popovy-Sisters female figure sculpture

‘The Shaman’ –  Popovy Sisters, Russia



Popov Sisters doll figure

Popovy Sisters



Lena and Katya Popovy-afrodita African female doll

Lena and Katya Popovy  – ‘Afrodita’




Popovy-Sisters nephritis figure sculpture

Katya and Lena Popov



Pende Giwoyo Mask, from the-DR Congo, with its comically solemn expression

Pende Giwoyo Mask, from the DR Congo, with a comically solemn expression



Nouveau Art Nouveau vase by Stephanie-Young with a spider motif

Art Nouveau revival vase with spider motif – Calmwater Designs –Stephanie Young



Ceramic sculpture male figure with outstretched arms - Carol-Holtzman-Fregoso

‘Reaching’ – Carol Holtzman Fregoso




Peter-Hayes ceramic sculpture

Peter Hayes raku sculpture



Fire-spirit---plate - female face - Jenny Orchard

‘Fire Spirit’ – Jenny Orchard



Choco shaman staff carved

Finial embracing couple on Choco shaman staff, Africa




metallic-rainbow--shine plate Tom Coleman

Tom Coleman



Stephen Parry-atmospheric glazed ceramic vessel

Stephen Parry – atmospheric glazed ceramic vessel



Ceramic Colima_seated_shaman=200BC---200AD

Ceramic Colima seated shaman




Crystal-Morey animal spirit figures

Ceramic animal totems – Crystal Morey



 Forest Woman & Fox, Nature Is Kin, Driftwood Sculpture by Debra Bernier-UK

 ‘Forest Woman & Fox, Nature Is Kin’, Driftwood Sculpture by Debra Bernier




Crystal Shaman by Katherine Mathison - ceramic figure sculpture of a shaman holding a crystal ball

‘Crystal Shaman’ by Katherine Mathison



Etienne bronze sculpture - Esperance -- seated figure abstract

Etienne bronze sculpture – ‘Esperance’



Flight into Egypt---Elya Valonetski a girl playing a mandolin with a crescent moon hat

‘Flight into Egypt’ —Elya Valonetski



Kemileva_Esen ceramic tile of a bird and female head

Kemileva Esen



Starting a New Journey---Blue Fire Studio - hand built from clay, coil built, terra sigillata, fired ceramic under glazes and ceramic glaze pencils, stains.

‘Starting a New Journey’ — Blue Fire Studio

…. hand built from clay, coil built, terra sigillata, fired ceramic under glazes and ceramic glaze pencils, stains.


“This is a self portrait. I am holding open the door to the mystery. This is where the energy comes from for the creation of my life and my art works. I do this by journeying into my energy, my power animal the horse accompanies me. The new moon represents the beginning of a new journey. I feel the stirring of a new direction in my life. I am a teacher. On the back is the representation of my assimilation point in motion creating new vistas, new life”. – artist Blue Fire




Pre-Columbian Inca Black-Glazed Jar

Pre-Columbian Inca Black Glazed Jar



Eric-Stearns,-Raku-lidded vessel with geometric pattern

Eric Stearns Raku vessel




Greek amphora, National Archaeological Museum of Athens, showing the goddess Athena

Greek amphora showing the goddess Athena with birds

National Archaeological Museum of Athens



Irina-Zaytceva-porcelain-art vase on small feet

Irina Zaytceva porcelain art vase



Jamacoaque ceramic Shaman Vessel-—-Ecuador 300BC 400AD

Jamacoaque ceramic Shaman Vessel

Ecuador 300BC – 400AD



Kewa (Santo Domingo) Pottery Olla, Bird to Man Transformation Design circa 1890

Kewa (Santo Domingo) Pottery Olla, Bird to Man Transformation Design circa 1890



Black with gold Kintsugi-vessel-Lakeside-Pottery

Black with gold Kintsugi vessel by Lakeside Pottery



Les Manning, “Touch the Sky,” stoneware clay, porcelain, celadon glaze.

An abstract, sculptural form evoking Alberta landscapes



Marika-Baumler-ceramic female bust

Marika Baumler



Lorraine-Guddemi ceramic sculpture figure

Lorraine Guddemi



Melanie Ferguson--ceramic Urchin @Cavin Morris gallery NYC.

Melanie Ferguson–ceramic Urchin Vessel

@Cavin Morris gallery NYC.




ceramic shaman figure praying

Mocha vessel — shaman healing prayer



Monumental Standing Figure, Possibly a Shaman. Quimbaya, Urabá Area---Colombia. A.D.-500---1000.-Gold

Monumental Standing Gold Figure, Possibly a Shaman. Quimbaya, Urabá Area

Colombia. A.D. 500—1000.



MyungJin-Kim,-Artist,-Cloud-Jar-(front),-2009 with bird on blue cloud motif

Kim Myung Jin -‘ Cloud Jar’




Gold statue - Ancient Hittite sun goddess, more commonly referred to simply as the sun goddess of Arinna.

Ancient gold Hittite sun goddess, more commonly referred to simply as the sun goddess of Arinna.




Black Olmec Shaman Jaguar Transformation sculpture figure

Olmec Shaman Jaguar Transformation sculpture figure~ The Olmec (ca.1200 BCE-ca.400 BCE) were the first major civilization in Mexico following a progressive development in Soconusco. They lived in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, in the present day states of Veracruz and Tabasco ~ considered the forerunner of all subsequent Mesoamerican cultures such as the Maya and Aztecs.


Botella Feline Head  vessel —  Perú, Tembladera



Olmec-Shaman's-green sculpture animal-spirit-companion

Olmec Shaman’s animal spirit companion



Mambila peoples ceramic ritual vessel, spaceman like motif -~-Nigeria,-Cameroon

Mambila peoples ceramic ritual vessel,~-Nigeria, Cameroon



Abstract dove sculpture-dynamische-vorm.-Vogel-abstrater

Michiel Linders



Amazon. The Shaman and the Thought of the Forest

Museum of Ethnography of Geneva



Sculpture from the workshop of a Yoruba sculpture master, Olowe von Ise, Nigeria



Jennifer-Falter-sgraffito Owl-Ceramic-Vase in black on white

Jennifer Falter sgraffito Owl Vase



 Olumeye Bird Altar Bowl, Olowe of Ise, Nigeria, C. 1925





Susan Seddon Boulet



Terracotta jug Cypro Archaic -- Date 750–600-B.C

Terracotta bird motif jug Cypro Archaic — Date 750–600 B.C



Yoruba Opon Igede Ifa-(Divination-Bowl), Nigeria

Yoruba Opon Igede Ifa (Divination Bowl), Nigeria



Rozenburg, Den Haag, crane motif vase W.P. Hartgring, 1899

W.P. Hartgring crane motif vase for  Rozenburg, Den Haag





Nigerian ritual ceramic vessel

Nigerian ritual terracotta vessel



Shamanic-Dream-Stones sculpture

‘Shamanic Dream Stone’ sculpture – Mamzelle Rivalekja ( ‘With my Germanic and Scandinavian pagan heritage going as far back as the 8th and 9th century, ; I’m a spiritual practitioner of the Pagan Arts’)

Dream stones are dynamic, potent and effective allies for gazing, meditation and journeying. They are a portal; they support and enhance connecting to inner worlds.




Shaman Effigy Vessel; Guanacaste-Nicoya, earthenware, white slip overall, slip paint,

circa AD 1000-1350 – The Walters Art Museum



Georges-Saulterre clay sculpture

Georges Saulterre



Shaman's Talisman (Bear Tooth with Red-tailed Hawk design). Blown and Sand carved glass, by Joe David.

‘Shaman’s Talisman’ (Bear Tooth with Red-tailed Hawk design). Blown and Sand carved glass, by Joe David.



Moorcroft-pottery-'Peacock-feather' vase

‘Peacock feather’ vase – Moorcroft



Porcelain Temple Jar with Iron Brown Long Life crane emblem

Baluster Porcelain Temple Jar with iron brown Long Life crane emblem



Rometti_2017 vaso tartaruga bianco( White Turtle Vase)Presenza sciamana -- Shaman Presence)Jean Christoph Clair

Vaso tartaruga bianco (White Turtle Vase) — Presenza sciamana — (Shaman Presence) — Jean Christoph Clair

Rometti 2017