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Short Stories: House on Fire Wearing Slippers

Jun 4, 2012

by SandraEterovic

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

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, Sandra Eterovic shares the tale behind her whimsical burning house sculpture.

I love facades as a motif, particularly houses. They usually look nice, symmetrical and orderly.  Sometimes a house might even resemble a face: the windows are eyes, the door a mouth. And although a house might look quite orderly from the front, what goes on inside it might be anything but.

After I found a compelling image of a miner’s cottage in the north of England, I decided that I wanted to make a wooden facade of it. How to make it stand? Why not a pair of legs? In my first drawing, the house had a ballerina’s head and two elegant arms as well, but after I made all of the pieces I decided that the legs were enough. That was the first version.

The second version caught fire.

I am not sure why — perhaps I thought that the first version was too nice. It seemed to imply that what went on inside the house was orderly too, and I wanted to suggest something else. And even though the house on fire has legs (complete with knee high stockings and slippers), it cannot exactly run away from what is going on inside, can it? It can’t save itself from its fate.

More Short Stories

Have you created or come across an object with an extraordinary story that needs to be told? Email us!

Original painted bat: Sweet Girl Wearing Persian Rug Sweater
Original painted bat: Sweet Girl Wearing Persian Rug Sweater
SandraEterovic
$206.53 USD
Love Me As I Am- embroidered cushion no. VI
Love Me As I Am- embroidered cushion no. VI
SandraEterovic
$106.72 USD
Original painted bat: the Fortune Wheel
Original painted bat: the Fortune Wheel
SandraEterovic
$191.17 USD
Hand painted plywood sculpture - Lady with Village on her Head XIV
Hand painted plywood sculpture - Lady with Village on her Head XIV
SandraEterovic
$99.04 USD
A4 Fine art print - The Hungry Eye
A4 Fine art print - The Hungry Eye
SandraEterovic
$21.50 USD
Fine art print -- printed to order -- The Big Burger
Fine art print -- printed to order -- The Big Burger
SandraEterovic
$21.50 USD
Organic Cotton Hemp Doll  - Sir Dino Pineapple
Organic Cotton Hemp Doll - Sir Dino Pineapple
SandraEterovic
$42.23 USD
OOAK Wooden Australian Rules Football Player - Fitzroy
OOAK Wooden Australian Rules Football Player - Fitzroy
SandraEterovic
$106.72 USD
Original artwork on wood: Mr Mortadella I
Original artwork on wood: Mr Mortadella I
SandraEterovic
$126.68 USD
A hand painted house on fire, No. 2 in a new series
A hand painted house on fire, No. 2 in a new series
SandraEterovic
$126.68 USD
Hand painted mirror - Moroccan Fez
Hand painted mirror - Moroccan Fez
SandraEterovic
$42.23 USD
Fine art print -- Man and Cow
Fine art print -- Man and Cow
SandraEterovic
$21.50 USD
One of a kind original hand painted wooden artwork - Joan of Arc
One of a kind original hand painted wooden artwork - Joan of Arc
SandraEterovic
$499.04 USD
Fine art print - Lady with Village on her Head
Fine art print - Lady with Village on her Head
SandraEterovic
$19.19 USD
Any 5 of these greetings cards
Any 5 of these greetings cards
SandraEterovic
$19.19 USD
Fine art print -- Lucky Fisherman
Fine art print -- Lucky Fisherman
SandraEterovic
$21.50 USD
LIMITED EDITION - signed and numbered - fine art print - Read My Mind
LIMITED EDITION - signed and numbered - fine art print - Read My Mind
SandraEterovic
$99.81 USD
Original painting: Lady with a Lizard
Original painting: Lady with a Lizard
SandraEterovic
$422.26 USD
Original painting: Young Girl with Turnip
Original painting: Young Girl with Turnip
SandraEterovic
$422.26 USD
Etsy MAKE FOR GOOD collaboration: my print x hand made frame from Corner Block Studio
Etsy MAKE FOR GOOD collaboration: my print x hand made frame from Corner Block Studio
SandraEterovic
$33.01 USD
Fine art print -- Girl with Braided Hair
Fine art print -- Girl with Braided Hair
SandraEterovic
$21.50 USD
Fine art print -- Girl Wearing Fair Isle Vest
Fine art print -- Girl Wearing Fair Isle Vest
SandraEterovic
$21.50 USD
Printed to order -- Fine art print -- Kitty and Darth
Printed to order -- Fine art print -- Kitty and Darth
SandraEterovic
$21.50 USD
Fine art print -- Woman as Ship
Fine art print -- Woman as Ship
SandraEterovic
$21.50 USD
Fine art print - The Apple Man
Fine art print - The Apple Man
SandraEterovic
$21.50 USD
Acrylic on wood original art - Ms Mortadella
Acrylic on wood original art - Ms Mortadella
SandraEterovic
$103.65 USD
Original painted illustration PLUS BOOK -- young Sidney Nolan in the State Library of Victoria
Original painted illustration PLUS BOOK -- young Sidney Nolan in the State Library of Victoria
SandraEterovic
$168.91 USD
ORIGINAL painted illustration plus BOOK - Sidney Nolan, Australian modernist artist in hospital during WW2
ORIGINAL painted illustration plus BOOK - Sidney Nolan, Australian modernist artist in hospital during WW2
SandraEterovic
$168.91 USD
LARGE A3 Fine art print - Man of Flowers
LARGE A3 Fine art print - Man of Flowers
SandraEterovic
$36.85 USD
Fine art print -- Hamburger Girl
Fine art print -- Hamburger Girl
SandraEterovic
$21.50 USD
fine art print - Sir Dino Pineapple
fine art print - Sir Dino Pineapple
SandraEterovic
$21.50 USD
Gardening through the ages - ORIGINAL illustration for Gardening Australia magazine, 2016
Gardening through the ages - ORIGINAL illustration for Gardening Australia magazine, 2016
SandraEterovic
$57.58 USD
Hand painted wooden sculpture - The Orangerie Man
Hand painted wooden sculpture - The Orangerie Man
SandraEterovic
$99.04 USD
Hand painted mirror - Crazy Wig and Lightning Glasses
Hand painted mirror - Crazy Wig and Lightning Glasses
SandraEterovic
$30.71 USD
Large A3 Fine art print -- my studio wall
Large A3 Fine art print -- my studio wall
SandraEterovic
$36.85 USD
LAST TWO - fine art print - Olga the Beautiful Red Bird
LAST TWO - fine art print - Olga the Beautiful Red Bird
SandraEterovic
$13.82 USD

51 comments

  • decembermoondesign

    Doreen from decembermoondesign said 4 years ago

    A house with slippers. Love it. Makes perfect sense to me.

  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    Judith and Raymond from AnnaOliveDesigns said 4 years ago

    Inspiration can come from anywhere. Good story and I love your creations!

  • VintageEye

    VintageEye from VintageEye said 4 years ago

    I have always thought that windows are like portals to the soul of a home just as eyes are windows to the soul of a person. Wonderful!

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 4 years ago

    Interesting!

  • windycitynovelties

    Windy City Novelties said 4 years ago

    Very creative and unique creation!

  • ProfessorTiny

    Susan Sanford from ProfessorTiny said 4 years ago

    Oh.... I don't normally gush, but I am trying to restrain myself here. Witty, elegant and handsomely made, and quite inspiring too. ...Thinking of the Tenniel illustration with giant Alice trapped in the white rabbit's house. I will be back to look at this again.

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 4 years ago

    Love this!!!

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering said 4 years ago

    This reminds me of that song, where the roof is on fire...I wish it had arms up in the air. lol. It is really unique & cute how it is though!

  • ThatGirlShelley

    Shelley from ThatGirlShelley said 4 years ago

    A great story. The house would have been cute with knee highs:)

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 4 years ago

    Unique and interesting!

  • truthbeautyandlove27

    Colleen O'Neal from truthbeautyandlove27 said 4 years ago

    I love the metaphore, despite having legs it can't run away from the fire or turmoil inside just as a person has the ability to run but you can't escape your own "fire" Like this alot!

  • PalomaAccessories

    Kelly from PalomaAccessories said 4 years ago

    Bueno.

  • Parachute425

    Terry from Parachute425 said 4 years ago

    " . . . it cannot exactly run away from what is going on inside" Perfect. Exactly. Well done.

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags said 4 years ago

    Interesting read ! Thanks !

  • LilyThings

    Elizabeth Lagasse from LillyThings said 4 years ago

    How Neat !! I love these Blogs! You Never know what you'll Read Next!

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 4 years ago

    Fun!

  • RetrofitBecky

    Becky from RetrofitStyle said 4 years ago

    Amusing and thought provoking art makes life so much richer! Thanks so much.

  • Pastecchi

    Pastecchi from TheAmazonBazaar said 4 years ago

    This makes me laugh and Im not sure why..hahaha. You are an original!

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 4 years ago

    Love it!

  • OuterKnits

    OuterKnits from OuterKnits said 4 years ago

    So creative! Awesome.

  • FirstWordLight

    FirstWordLight said 4 years ago

    What a delight !! An entire teaching is enfolded in it. And the best kind of humour--the kind that is fundamentally kind. It brings to mind this small story- a story for a story. :-) Some years ago, a precious teacher, in endeavouring to the convey the nature (and skill) of Buddha's teachings of liberation used the analogy of needing to entice children out of a burning house. Because they can't see the flames, they don't know (believe) they are there. So the way to get them out, is to say, Children, there is a cart full of gifts waiting outside the house. Go (or come) see! The slippers (for me) are denoting an added level of comfiness. Th house has legs....lots of ponderings here. Enjoyed this very much.

  • coalchild

    coalchild from coalchild said 4 years ago

    there is something very orderly about disorder, with what happens in a everyday house the possibilities are endless ,imagine really big ears or a sound bite of expletive symbols ...i like the way you think..cheers

  • ThePeacockFeather

    Bernadette from ThePeacockFeather said 4 years ago

    I am sure that you did not mean this like this but have you ever been trapped in a fire? I have. On the 2nd floor. I had to WAIT until someone came to rescue me. This piece unfortunately brings horrid memories. I can't stand to look at it. sometimes things made to represent not what it actually is can bring reality and actuality to people that have experienced the reality. this also reminds me of a time, before my fire, when I lived on a block where every week an arsonist was setting fire to another house.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 4 years ago

    Fascinating idea, interesting that you chose a miners house - I live in the north east of England and I guess coal is combustible volatile substance...

  • TheBeautyofBoredom

    Gracie from TheBeautyofBoredom said 4 years ago

    Interesting post! A little scary though, since it reminds one of being trapped inside an actual house that is one fire. This is related to the post Brandy from The Peacock Feather mentioned earlier. I have never been in a house fire, but it has always scared me. It scares me more when my roommates don't leave a path to the front door. x.x Interesting idea though.

  • blueflowervintage

    blueflowervintage from blueflowervintage said 4 years ago

    Bravo! Very nice! I love this lady's shop!

  • ArtsyFlair

    Michaela Bowles from ArtsyFlair said 4 years ago

    Love!

  • Nikifashion

    Natalia from Nikifashion said 4 years ago

    Awesome!

  • Nikifashion

    Natalia from Nikifashion said 4 years ago

    Awesome work!

  • tinselizzi

    Liz Hayes from tinselizzi said 4 years ago

    How ironic that the cuteness of the slippers and socks gather more comments than the horror of the fire. The piece is evocative, indicating turmoil rather than useless whimsicality.

  • SandraEterovic

    Sandra Eterovic from SandraEterovic said 4 years ago

    Wow -- thanks so much to everyone for commenting. Reading peoples' responses to my work adds so much more dimension to it. Really powerful and thought provoking stuff! Thanks all -- and thanks Etsy!!

  • MelissaKojima

    Melissa Kojima from ArtistInLALALand said 4 years ago

    OMG! How fascinating. And I love this house.

  • designlab443

    Tracy from designlab443 said 4 years ago

    Love this item!

  • handmaderomance

    Evie Barrow from eviebarrow said 4 years ago

    i loved reading this. i've always had a vision of a young drew barrymore in the movie, firestarter when looking at this piece. appearing sweet and innocent on the outside but with so much more going on inside.

  • GRAstudio

    joanna katarzyna Gulik from TwinkleCurtain said 4 years ago

    beautiful! REally interesting idea!

  • rosesnhearts

    Rose A. from rosesnhearts said 4 years ago

    Before I read the story I looked at the house and the first word that came to my mind was "whimsical". It just fits. Interesting read and cute item.

  • CozyMoments

    Michelle from CozyMomentsLLC said 4 years ago

    Very creative and such a wonderful read! ♥

  • PinwheelStudio

    Whitney from PinwheelStudio said 4 years ago

    I like the metaphor of not being able to run away from your own problems, or fires, despite having legs to run!

  • sukran

    Sukran Kirtis from SukranKirtisJewelry said 4 years ago

    So creative, Best success to you!! Congrats

  • GoldenSpiralDesigns

    Lola Ocian from GoldenSpiralDesigns said 4 years ago

    It reminds me of something my dad used to say about himself as an artist. I would commend him for his creativity and his inspiration on my own development as an artist. In a very dad way, he would deny being any shade of an artist and relay the story of how he failed art in high school because he couldn't envision making a thing that didn't have a very defined purpose. He failed to grasp the idea that one can create a thing that doesn't have a purpose other than to be looked at and enjoyed. I've only adopted a scant amount of this philosophy, but sometimes I just can't shake the feeling that a thing must have a purpose. Especially a thing that takes up real estate (i.e. doesn't just hang on the wall) When I originally read this post, I thought the legs were for hanging your slippers on. I thought: wow, that's brilliant! A slipper hanger. I suppose it could still be used for that. Or a coat hanger, perhaps.

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 4 years ago

    Great post!

  • MissHildebrandt

    Miss Hildebrandt from MissHildebrandt said 4 years ago

    A whole new path for the brain. Neat share. This very post, inspiring!

  • FreakyPeas

    FreakyPeas from FreakyPeas said 4 years ago

    I love to hear the stories behind the inspirations. When I paint things just come out...there doesnt seem to be any planning or hidden inspiration.

  • HibouCards

    Anne-Claire R. from HibouDesigns said 4 years ago

    love the idea!

  • etsyCreamyQueen

    Creamy Queen from creamyqueen said 4 years ago

    Love this item !!! Fantasy

  • myvintagecrush

    Kathleen from myvintagecrush said 4 years ago

    the legs are enough.. perfect!

  • GraysonDesigns11

    GraysonDesigns11 from GraysonDesigns11 said 4 years ago

    I frequently drive past an empty lot and it blows my mind that it is empty. An old victorian pink house stood there my entire childhood. The old lady that lived there was a unique soul who kept her future casket under a tarp on her porch. I think dainty ballerina legs would have been fitting for that home.

  • GoldenSpiralDesigns

    Lola Ocian from GoldenSpiralDesigns said 4 years ago

    Wow! That is wonderfully morbid humor! Keeping your future casket on site. Actually, totally inspiring. I want to hollow out a tree and decorate it with elaborate carvings, so that I might be buried in such a powerful and extravagant (and presumably far less expensive) encapsulation one day.

  • QuirkMuseum

    Michael Quirk from QuirkMuseum said 4 years ago

    Ah fire... bringer of warmth, hibachi and sometimes destruction. Nice work.

  • craftsholic

    craftsholic from craftsholic said 4 years ago

    Awesome !

  • liddysopretty

    liddy sopretty from liddysopretty said 4 years ago

    This is so neat!

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