Monday, March 21, 2011

The Head of My Enemy

The Head of My Enemy 7x5 oil by Shirley Fachilla

Sicilians are famous for their long memories and slightly less famous for their ceramics which are vibrant in color and strong in design. One of their very traditional ceramic pieces is the “head,” a full-color ceramic human head made into a flower pot. According to the story I was told, a ceramic head always portrays an enemy. Sicilians do not lack for enemies.
Over the centuries, Sicily has been invaded multiple times; unsurprisingly, many of those invaders have made the enemy list. The Spanish invasion and occupation is considered one of the worst. As you might guess, many of those pots, like the little one I painted here, bear Spanish faces, beautiful Spanish faces.
In Sicily, you can find all sorts of heads, big and little, factory-made and hand-crafted. Mine was hand-made in Caltagirone and signed by the artist. It was intended for the tourist trade to be sure; but as discussed earlier, tourist art can find its way into museums. Right now, however, our Sicilian ceramic head is quite at home in our living room.


  1. J'aime toute cette harmonie de couleurs dans votre toile... Cette figure est haute en dignité...
    Merci pour les informations concernant l'origine des figurines.
    Gros bisous

  2. Thank you, Martine. The ceramic heads are beautiful but a strange design concept for a pot!


Is it too early to send an invitation?

Pieces by (clockwise from left to right) : Susan Harlan, Janet Garner, Shirley Fachilla, Mike Martino and Topper Williams. So many ...