Recently I have gotten on a huge kick making shrine-plaques. That is my word for an old idea. There are many ancient images which are set up to look like the front of a temple with the deity (or deities) of the temple standing within it. I am of the opinion that these probably would have been popular among those who made pilgrimages to holy sites to bring back to worship the god in their homes, or were otherwise just readily available for household worship. I have had two people upon seeing my shrine-plaques in fact compare them with lararium which are a very similar concept. Of course these shrine plaques are far less expensive to make than my statues and also are quicker to make too as they are two dimensional rather than 3 dimensional lol. This is of course a boon to me and customers both because I can make more of them on custom order, I can make castings fairly easily of non-custom order pieces (because I would rather not reproduce something commissioned), the material is inexpensive and therefore the price is kept down. This makes me really excited about this, and judging from reactions, other folks have been getting excited about it too. So far I have 3 made (Aphrodite, Rhea and Apollon with Leto and Artemis), but will shortly be adding to it.
As you can see with this shrine-plaque of Apollon, Leto and Artemis the general two dimensional image is made like a relief with a flat back and the figures built up from the base. I typically start with fashioning the frame of the temple first, and only then will I add the figures as it will give me a visual reference of where they will fit. Naturally multiple figures will be a bit more squished together than a single figure, but it is still functional and visually appealing. Also notice that the base as a shelf which extends about 5 inches out.
As you can see this gives just enough room for a small incense burner, a vessel for libations roughly the size of a shotglass, a votive candle, and a small devotional item. Necklaces, ribbons and other adornments can of course be hung from the shelf if so desired. The idea of course is for these to be wall mountable or sit on a shelf as the worshiper desires and their space allows, and therefore to act as compact shrines in themselves without the need of a regulated shelf or table top. In fact, as it was pointed out to me, what makes it so attractive is the fact that it resembles a temple which can be a helpful aesthetic.
Of course, single figured shrine plaques have a bit more room for other details, such as in the case of this shrine-plaque for Rhea where she is accompanied by a lion. These are also a bit smaller than the multiple figure shrine plaques and are therefore a bit less expensive. In this case you can see a difference in that the temple front is narrower. But it is possible to move away from the standard temple look which I did for Aphrodite below in which the heaven’s dome and the foam from which she is born create her “temple”, giving it an entirely different feel and look.