Houses in Medieval times were not the comfortable constructs most of us enjoy today. Most of the houses used by the serfs in the era had two rooms (at the most); all-dirt floors, small windows and a thatched roof. Making a miniature of one of these constructs is a simple process. Since uneducated serfs usually built these dwellings, replication of an authentic looking miniature takes little or no sculpting skills.
Roll out 0.454kg. of clay on a flat, clean work surface until the clay is 1 inch thick.
Cut four 6-inch squares out of the clay for each house you want to build. Set aside the extra clay and lay your square clay slabs in a row. Number the slabs with a "1," "2," "3," or "4" by carving the number into the clay with a toothpick.
Cut a 2-inch tall and 1-inch wide rectangle in the bottom of any clay slab labelled "1." Center the rectangle on one side with the 2-inch cuts working toward the centre. Cut small windows (1/2 inch wide and 1/2 inch tall) into the slabs of clay labelled "2" and "4."
Cut the rounded ends off wooden craft sticks. Cut the stick in half lengthwise. Cut the remaining pieces into 2-inch long segments. Cut an additional wooden craft stick into two 1 1/2-inch long segments (cut off any rounded edges).
Lay the 2-inch long wooden segments vertically side-by-side until they make a 1 1/2-inch long line. Lay a line of glue 1/2 inch from the top and the bottom of the line of sticks. Place the 1-inch wide pieces of wood on the glue lines and allow it to dry.
Press the wooden construct onto the cut rectangle on the "1" labelled slab with the two horizontal wood pieces facing down. Center the wood construct so it overlaps the sides of the rectangle hole by 1/4 inch on each side. Press the wood down into the clay so it sticks in place.
Rotate the slab of clay with the "1" label so the side with the wood construct sits closest to you. Poke a toothpick into the clay at the top and bottom corners of the clay slab.
Stand the "2" and "4" pieces of clay on their sides. Push these two slabs of clay on either side of the "1" labelled piece so they sink onto the toothpicks.
Push four toothpicks into the "3" labelled slab of clay the same way you did with the "1" labelled slab. Fit the "3" labelled slab of clay onto the open sides of the "2" and "4" pieces of clay, completing a square.
Stand the clay square up so the wood construct touches the table and the open end faces upward. The wood construct acts as a door for the small house when set at this angle. Allow the clay to dry.
Glue small pieces of hay to a pyramid-shaped wooden block. Use a lightweight block of wood that will not crush the clay below. The pyramid must be able to extend over the top of the clay square.
Place the wooden pyramid on top of the clay square. This works as the thatched roof for the miniature house.
For a more detailed approach, add a clay slab sprinkled with dirt to the bottom of the house to symbolise the dirt floor. You can also add small pieces of crude furniture.
Tips and warnings
- For a more detailed approach, add a clay slab sprinkled with dirt to the bottom of the house to symbolise the dirt floor. You can also add small pieces of crude furniture.