Pan, the God of the countryside and nature. Often depicted as ugly with a flattened nose and the lower torso and legs of a goat, Pan is seen as mischievous. His caprine features making him as much common beast as man. He was a much loved God in the ancient world, and yet it is an image some may associate with Medieval depictions of the Devil. It begs the question why vilify such a creature when others in Greek and Roman belief and myth were more easy contenders with their capricious and vengeful behaviour? There’s some more written about it here.

Using these two sketches above, the Pan I made from clay is a mix of the two. The wind-blown beard and long horns of the first, the open mouth and ears of the second.

Professional black clay and scaffolding of newspaper was used and then cut away as the design formed.

The elongated ears of a goat, with slightly flattened nose and pinched nostrils, his mouth also has sheep or goat-like features. I used to keep a small flock of sheep and learned they do not have top teeth, just a bottom row for ease of grazing grass close to the ground. It is for this reason I have sculpted Pan with the same.

The sculpture was fired to stoneware, 1260 degrees C, and it was a school-girl error which led to some slumping of the chest. Forgetting to add scaffolding to the inside, once inside the hot kiln, the weight of the head has splayed the chest area meaning the arched shoulder holes have lost their shape.

I am on the whole pleased with this as it was fun to do and I really enjoy the playful nature of mixing features of goat and man.

Out from the dark and back where he belongs, in among the flowers in the sunshine.


    • Thanks. I have started reading the Song of Achilles last week. It seems to be following a theme similar to Circe; that of isolation and alienation during early years / childhood. However, most people know that Achilles was a warrior so I know things will turn around for him soon. Not wishing to get too deep, but both appear to follow the common human condition of feeling separate from the group, which doesn’t seem to make sense if it is a universal feeling. None-the-less, many songs like those of David Bowie for instance, made a living out of songs about alienation, so maybe it is normal? I am looking forward to reading more of the book and hope you enjoy it too. Thank you for recommending it to me.


      • Started Song of Achilles today. I listen while I am in the studio, so got pretty far in the first sitting. I think Achilles was pretty popular as a youth, but not so the narrator and friend, Patroclus. Again, a very modern take on an old story. Interested to see where this is going. I can’t remember how in the original story Achilles ended up with a vulnerable heel. Very readable author.

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