Topics & Stories



Small Houses

Text: Jun Asami


White-walled and orange-tiled houses. I wonder if the slightly warped shape of these clay structures are manifestations of the shape of their creator’s hands and tools. Last summer, I encountered these small houses in Faumont, Nord, in the northern part of France. Sat upon a table at a flea market in this small town near to Belgium, a large number still remained despite closing time having come already. I asked the person at the stall about them, but they were merely the friend of the person who had made these houses, so didn’t know the particulars. I bought almost 30 of them and took them with me back to Japan.

It is clear these were not made by a professional, but that means that their creator most likely specializes in something else. Rather than making them for the purpose of earning money by selling them, it is easy to imagine that these were made for the love of doing it. It reminds me of William Morris’s lecture on the lesser arts.

“Our subject is that great body of art, by means of which men have at all times more or less striven to beautify the familiar matters of everyday life: a wide subject, a great industry; both a great part of the history of the world, and a most helpful instrument to the study of that history.” – William Morris, “The Lesser Arts”.

I love these miniature creations that could so easily be lost within the history of our world.

Jun Asami
Editor and Writer. Director of the antique shop ‘Goods’, also belongs to Design studio ‘Well’. He has worked on the production and publication of artbooks alongside other artist.

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