Day 159 / 2022 Photo Project365

Permanently Surprised.

When I first saw (at an estate sale) this whimsical terracotta sculpture with mouth wide open and shingles for hair, it made me laugh. An expression of surprise is forever affixed to its red-orange pottery face. On closer examination, I think he (she? non-binary?) also has a bit of a smile around the edges, so maybe there’s some delight and happiness mixed in with a feeling of surprise… But regardless of how you might interpret it, the expression on this terracotta head is unchanging and permanent. Unless, of course, it becomes cracked and broken — as water-absorbent terracotta is wont to do, after seasonal freezing and thawing — rendering its face inscrutable and emotions unreadable…

Then I noticed two small holes near the peak of its shingled roof — one on either side — and realized it was actually a bird house! And, since it appealed to my whimsical, funky, artsy-fartsy taste and eclectic aesthetic, a.k.a. “funklectica”, I bought the terracotta head to hang at home in hopes of enticing a small bird to nest in it.

Walking down the grassy knoll in front of the estate sale, I noticed that there were a few leaves sticking out of the mouth, which I pulled out only to find there was much more inside, and more, and more… I found a stick and started pushing out the head’s contents by poking through two drainage holes on the bottom, discovering bits of dry grass, wads of fuzzy threads from a human garment, and other bits of detritus in there as well! Whatever had nested in there had been a repeat visitor/occupant, working diligently to create a home inside the head. Maybe that explains the surprised look on its face?!

Took me 15 minutes to get the head emptied out completely. It was worth the effort, to make my permanently surprised terracotta person’s head ready for its next denizen…

Camera: iPhone 13 Pro Max
Editing: Hipstamatic app
Photographer: Russ Murray aka “remages
Location: Somewhere in CT

See you tomorrow… 


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