Housing stories

September 6, 2012

Tiny paper houses

little collages with a house and vessel

Sometimes when other work has stranded, I make little collages out of discarded oil pastel drawings.

Yesterday I woke up with an irresistible urge to make tiny paper houses. I wanted them specifically to place on a miniature spice shelf ( a new addition to my studio, purchased for 60 cents at a second hand store).

I hadn’t intended to decorate them, but now I see that they are my oil pastels in 3D.

The image ontop of this page is inspired directly by Camillan Engman’s tabletop collections, and is also cut from discarded oil pastel drawings.

I love the shapes of houses and vessels, jars, bowls. It occured to me that houses are vessels, too. They contain our lives and loves and everyday rituals. They contain each of our stories.

11 Responses to “Housing stories”

  1. I love these. They remind me when I first learnt batik on paper at a workshop, Noel Dyrenforth got us to work with coloured tissue paper and then make collages. the results were astonishing.

  2. Sara, you never cease to amaze me with your creativity and writing. The love for both shines through. Annie

  3. decorartuk Says:

    Sarah, your houses are very cute and tiny! It must have been hard to somehow glue them together? I especially like the first one on the left – it’s very “happy”, if you know what I mean.

    It’s nice to see that you keep finding new ways how to express your creative self. I might have lots of ideas in mind, yet it’s hard to find time (if only at least half an hour! there’s no studio, so the preparation usually takes longer than the actual enjoyable part of creating…), so trust me, compared to me, you are getting somewhere.


    • szoutewelle Says:

      Hi Kristina, thanks for your encouraging words. You’ve reminded me how fortunate I am to have a studio, that counts for so much. I can imagine how difficult it must be to mobilize yourself to create, get all the stuff set up and do it, then have to clean up again. Geesh, I can’t even contemplate it, though I know many people have to work this way.

      Yes the little houses were finicky to glue, but I had made little flaps on the ‘roof’ triangles, and one tab to glue the box part together. Each house was cut out of one piece of paper and scored on the folds.

      (Thanks to your interest in oil pastels, I’m offering a course, which is now full (I can only take 6 people here at home) and begins next week. It’s a bit of a commute (UK >NL), but you are welcome!).

      • decorartuk Says:

        Hi, Sarah, I was very glad to hear that my interest in oil pastels has inspired you to move forward and has grown into something really big. I still haven’t got any oil pastels… just ordinary ones, but these are very messy – believe it or not, but I create clouds of dust using them! Anyway, they are still on my “to buy” list…

        Six lucky people in your studio? I’m sure you will have a good time. I wish I could come… yet the distance is a BIT too big, although at the moment I live in LT, not UK. Well, I never told you (just because I never volunteer this information) I’m Lithuanian, but my fiace is English, so we are somehow managing to bounce from one country to another.

        Well, let me know how your lessons (maybe you should turn them into a short online course?) go and I’m off to read one more of your posts.


        P.S. I sent you an e-mail about an award for your blog..

      • szoutewelle Says:

        Hey K, thanks for your comment. Yes, you’ve inspired me in a lot of ways, so thank you.

        The 6 people work in our dining room, actually, around our normal dinner time, banishing my husband upstairs to eat in my studio. 😦 The studio isn’t big enough for the course.

        I had 4 people yesterday ( one didn’t show and the other one had to miss the first session) and it was so inspiring.I got a lot of new ideas for the next sessions from watching them work. And I love watching people discover new things, at first it is about the materials then ultimately about themselves. For instance, if you keep doing things with the materials you know will work, you don’t risk failing, therefore you don’t progress. My favorite moments in teaching are watching someone make that leap from the familiar into the unknown, and come out with a treasure of their own creation, one that they could never ahve imagined or planned to make.

        I didn’t know you were Lithuanian, my father’s family was from there,( Morris was changed from the original Moskowitz during the 2nd world war when it wasn’t such a good idea to have a blatantly Jewish name). Challenging, hopping about between two countries. Curious to see where you will land.

        An online course, interesting idea, doesn’t ring my bells at the moment because so much depends on the physical presence of someone who can take the journey with you and point out possibilities while you are working. And more time on the computer, no thanks- I’m just getting over a painful shoulder, so have to cut down on time in front of this thing. Still, it is an interesting idea……. cheers, Sarah

  4. Arnold Says:

    Nice to see your work Sarah. Love the colors.

    Would be a nice project in the fields of Groningen. Colorfull houses to meditate in or somethng like that.

    We met at the St. Jans market with De Zomerschool.

    From the heart, Arnold

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