NEW WORKS BY BILL SUWOROFF -- Through December 30 at Fendrick Gallery, 3059 M Street NW.

Bill Suworoff makes people laugh. His cartoon-like ceramic sculptures of animals, some of them doubling as functional objects, grab you with their unexpected absurdity. Like his duck series, which includes a candelabra with crazy, silly, colorful duck bills sticking out in all directions and a "gultar duck" whose neck is elongated enough for a fret and strings.

Now Suworoff has immortalized the ostrich. Ten ludicrous creatures, six feet tall, plucked and colored with every conceivable hue from the spectrum are the result of one man's unorthodox study of the habits and lifestyle of nature's most off-putting bird."Back in the Saddle Again" is a rare specimen of the toothy Old West ostrich complete with "cowbird" boot and duck saddle, "Symbiosis Schmimbiosis" grows out of the artist's valued research on the mutually dependent relationship between the ostrich and smaller birds resembling mutant ducks.

Suworoff switched from pots to ceramic birds several years ago after an unproductive day in his studio. He had thrown one cylinder too many on the potter's wheel. He was bored.

Now he's challenged and happy to conjure up zany creations that make passersby do a double take. Best of all, he says, his animals are not cute.