ancient animals

To learn how to work with clay, I’ve been copying ancient animals that I find on the web. These were made, with air-dry clay and acrylic paint, between November 2021 and April 2022. Here they are, arranged from youngest to oldest.

cute rounded whale in black stone

Whale effigy, Chumash, 1200-1600 CE

Musée des Beaux Arts, Montreal

my clay copy of the whale, painted black
whale copy seen from the back
a pleased looking clay dog, reclining, with sleepy eyes.

Rattle dog from Athens, 3rd century BCE

my version of the rattle dog, in clay painted to look weathered
dog copy seen from the side
yes, my rattle dog really rattles!
elegant abstract horse with smooth curved limbs and painted details

Horse, ancient Greek, Boeotian, 6th century BCE

my copy of the horse, painted to look weathered, not as elegant as the original
my copy of the horse, seen from behind
an abstract bull-like figure with rounded horns and short legs

Animal figurine, Late Mycenaean (14th–13th c. BCE)

Museum of Cycladic Art

my copy of the figure, painted to look weathered, seen from the front
my less elegant copy, in weathered paint, seen from the side
a little carved hedgehog in white stone, with short legs, a perky nose, and an engraved grid pattern representing the spines. It's standing on a dark stone cart with wheels.

Hedgehog on wheels, Susa, Iran, Middle Elamite period (1500–1200 BCE)

Musée du Louvre

my clay copy of the hedgehog in weathered white paint, with a much bigger nose and clumsier modeling. It doesn't have a cart with wheels.
another view of my copy.
Maybe someday I’ll make wheels for my hedgehog…
a perky little dog with pointy ears, curly tail, spots, and only three legs

Spotted dog, Pakistan, Chanhu-Daro, 2600–1900 BCE

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

my copy of the dog, painted to look weathered. It has a longer, less cute face, and still only 3 legs.
a front view of my dog copy.
a grizzled and tough looking boar, its side heavily slashed

Boar, Tepe Sarab, Iranian Neolithic, 9th millennium BCE


my copy of the boar, painted to look weathered, slashed down the sides
front view of my boar copy, showing how narrow it is