NewsCovering Colorado


The Teller County troll is complete! Meet 'Rita the Rock Planter', Colorado's second troll

Teller County troll update
Posted at 5:18 PM, Aug 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-07 19:52:53-04

VICTOR, Colo. — Teller County's troll is complete! The wooden sculpture now joins the popular Breckenridge troll as a hiking destination in Colorado's mountains.

In late June, artist Thomas Dambo announced a new project called "Way of the Bird King," in which he road trips from Vermont across the country to Washington and builds 10 trolls and thousands of birdhouses along the way. One of his stops for troll-building is Colorado.

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"Rita the Rock Planter," located outside of Victor, is made entirely of recycled wood.

Inspired by the gold mines of the town, Dambo designed the sculpture, and its backstory, to be "working."

Teller County troll

"Kind of like repairing the mountain and pushing the stones into the mine shaft, making it safe again so no one will fall in," Dambo said.

Rita sits — or kneels — on a scenic trail outside of the mountain town, just a few miles from Cripple Creek. The sculpture still needs one important feature — hair. Dambo completed the sculpture Friday evening in time for a celebration with the Town of Victor.

Dambo went to his Instagram for help, asking his followers what haircut they thought would best suit Rita.

"I've built so many trolls. I've made 100 some haircuts," Dambo said. "It's fun to involved the community. They get happy when they get to be heard."

The Danish artist has had help from volunteers, making his vision come to life.

"People come, travel 20 hours. There was a cute lady called Brittany... she took three days off [work] to drive over here [and] come help me work," Dambo said.

thomas dambo thumbnail.jpg

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"I feel, once again, that it's the best one I've ever built," the artist said. "But I feel like that every time, so."

Teller County troll

Dambo told our Denver news partners he loves working in Colorado because he knows his sculptures will last a long time here. Our dry climate actually helps wooden structures and sculptures last longer, so his trolls can be enjoyed by people for years to come.