The Anglo-Saxons had a word for those who made sacred images: weohcraftige. In the pre-Christian world people like myself would sell images of the gods outside the temples for those to make offerings. Other images were kept in household shrines. So many have been found that we know how ubiquitous these offerings were. Sometimes I copy historical images, sometimes I simply let the ones who wish to speak to me through the clay. I also make votive offerings such as were both used by pagans and continued to be used in some Christian communities: small hands, heart, legs, lungs, eyes, whatever the person wanted to be healed.
I usually keep the features of both my sacred images and those of the mothers and fathers with babies vague because they represent “Every-parent” or “Every-child”. If I’ve put a clear face on, either it’s a portrait, or someone was asking me to be more specific for that piece.
These, for examples of ushabtis. Ushabties are small images that Egyptians buried with their dead. The tradition is that when you get to the afterlife and have to work, the Shabti will do the work for you, so you don’t have to. On the theory that “it might work, and couldn’t hurt”, these copies (from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts) have a ready audience. In theory, you need 365- one for each day of the year.
I also have done various tree ornaments.
I love sculpting small figures (weohs) for altars. I’ve done three different sets of the handmaidens of Frigga. They really appeal to me, as do the Minoan ladies in their bell shaped dresses. But one of the more popular figures I do is the middle eastern goddess done with leaving the terracotta showing, and just picking out part of her figure in black.