Saturday, January 28, 2012

Creating Imaginary Houses for Small People

What do Dwarfs, Hobbits and Smurfs all have in common?

Many authors and artists have created stories and illustrations of small people living in interesting homes in imaginary lands.

Dwarfs dwell in mountains and are associated with wisdom, mining and crafting.  Originating from Germanic mythology, dwarfs are commonly portrayed in fairy tales, fantasy fiction and folklore.  Dwarfs became popular in 1937 in the Walt Disney classic, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," based on the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm.

Similarly, Hobbits are members of an imaginary race similar to humans of small size with large hairy feet.  Created by J.R.R. Tolkien (1892 - 1973) an English author, poet and university professor.  Tolkien is best known as the author of the "The Hobbit," and "The Lord of the Rings."  The current release of  'The Hobbit," a 2 part fantasy film scheduled for release December 2012.

     "In the hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.  Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the
      ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit
      down on or to eat:  it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."
      J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit                                                                           

Comparatively, Smurfs are also a group of small blue fictional creatures.  First created as a series of comic strips by Belgian cartoonist Peyo in 1958.  Smurfs dwell  in mushroom like houses of different shapes and sizes and they usually live in a clearing deep in the forest.  They became popular in the 1980s TV series and with the movie release in August 2011.

Fun and Games with the Smurfs
Clay Creations:  The Making of a Mushroom House 

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