The Etsy Blog

Short Stories: City Houses

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Here at Etsy, we believe that the story behind an object is often just as fascinating as the object itself. Short Stories is our series dedicated to telling the tales behind extraordinary pieces found or created by Etsy sellers. 

Today, Laurie Poast shares the thought and philosophy behind her fantastic miniature house sculptures.

Houses are where our daughters play; where our grandfathers tell stories; where bits of our ancestors still live on in us. Houses are vessels that hold the histories of generations. Home connects our children to us, our parents to our grandparents — each of us to our family heritage.

For many of us, our great-grandparents and long lines of ancestors lived in the houses that still stand today in far-off villages and ancient cities of the Old World. All our collective memories, the histories of our lineage, the languages spoken, our families’ names, are known by these old structures. Whether in a charming old half-timbered Fachwerkhaus in Germany, in an ancient limestone estate amidst the castles and abbeys of France, in one of the seventeenth-century canal houses that hosted the painters of the the Dutch Golden Age, or in the twentieth-century Art Nouveau apartments of Paris’s cityscape, these houses in our homelands are witnesses that know, for generations of time, from where we come.

I’m a Scandinavian-American artist and designer living in Norway, working with Old World themes inspired by a modern Scandinavian aesthetic. I’ve lived in the footsteps of the greatest masters of European art, ran the Dutch landscapes painted by Paulus Potter and Jan van Goyen; drank my coffee in the cafés of Toulouse Lautrec’s Montmartre; sat in the slivers of golden light painted by Johannes
Vermeer and Rembrandt van Rijn. I’ve explored cobblestone streets of wealth and poverty that centuries of European history have built.

The houses still standing as they did in the 1300s, 1700s, and 1800s carry a wisdom of us like a Motherland that all-knowingly embraces her child. The strong sentiment of homeland for all of us
whose ancestors once emigrated from Europe drives my current body of work, and each of these sentiments is represented by a small clay house. What once was a study of European heritage is now growing to represent heritage throughout the world, and Artisanie Europe has become POAST, my own family name.

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