December 20, 2009 § 4 Comments
In Malaysia, we’ve got these really charming old shophouses that are special to this region. Because of the intense sun and heat, architects back then devised the 5-foot way, a public walking area built into the front of commercial lots. The top floors would overhang the ground floor, creating a shady lane for people to walk in, passing from shop to shop without getting in the sun. I also learnt from a art history teacher that some early versions of these shophouses had little peepholes with a sliding door on the floor above, looking over the front of the shops. With this, the shopowner, who would normally sleep on the front room of the first floor, could easily peek at who was knocking on the door. If you didn’t like the person and wanted him to go away, you could just empty your chamber pot into the hole.
Thinking of this and herb gardens, I made these little houses one weekend afternoon. Scientist sis helped too – you can kinda see that different hands made the first three houses on the left.
They are handy as pot markers for herb seedlings. We have ‘mint’, ‘thyme’, ‘rosemary’, ‘curry’, ‘basil’ and I can’t remember what else. I always think it’s a shame to see a empty pot, so these do to fill in the landscape while the seedlings sprout! If I ever start making terrariums, these would be really cute too.
But, they aren’t accurate shoplots… I think I should make another architecturally correct batch of wee shops 🙂