The Alkonost is, according to Russian mythos and folklore, a woman-headed bird. It makes amazingly beautiful sounds, and those who hear their sounds forget everything they know and want nothing more ever again. There is a scene in the Russian classic film: Sadko (1953), where the titular hero seeks a magical bird of happiness which actually turns out to be an Alkonost. I based her colors on the paradise kingfisher since the name of the Alkonost came from Alcyone, a Greek demigoddess who was transformed by the gods into a kingfisher. This is my third piece based on Russian folklore including Baba Yaga and Gorynych.
BTW: My original design of the Alkonost had her with extended wings, but I accidentally knocked her over and completely broke them beyond repair. What kept me from abandoning the entire piece was that her intricate tail somehow miraculously was mostly unscathed. Any repair work needed to be done quickly as she was fairly dry, so I gave her folded wings. I hadn't given it much further thought until a Russian colleague on Instagram pointed out that the new wings were actually an improvement as the previously extended wings resembled the long sleeves of traditional "sad" shirts worn by women for certain festivities. As my Russian colleague observed, "It's as if Alkonost made the necessary adjustments herself!" (Scroll down below for a comparison) My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.
I applied some kintsugi-esque gold paint to address a small crack on her left waist (and added it to her right side for balance).
Wet clay model (Final version)
Traditional Russian shirt (circa 18th century) and original Alkonost design with extended wings.