Usami Ayaka is a ceramic artist from Japan. Included among her creations are whimsical little houses designed with the smallest residents in mind.And, sure enough, they seem to appreciate Ayaka’s effort.Some of Ayaka’s tiny “Ouchi Houses” are purely artistic, but others have an adorable purpose — to serve as both flowerpots and as tiny homes for bugs.
“I make them on a scale for small creatures that we usually overlook in our daily lives,” Ayaka told The Dodo. “I started making these in hopes of seeing them in use.”Fortunately for Ayaka, she didn’t have to wait long.After finding a spot for one of her cute creations outside to use as a planter, Ayaka noticed that someone had moved in.It was a little roly poly, happily making his way up the tiny stairs Ayaka had made just for him.
“I was very happy when I discovered him using the stairs!” Ayaka said.The roly poly was making his way to the tiny front door of his new home, through which he can burrow in the potting soil within — protected from predators and the elements.This little guy has it good.Roly polies — also known as pill bugs — aren’t always warmly received as garden visitors, deemed instead as pests.
But for Ayaka, that’s a perception she hopes to dispel with her thoughtful little houses.
“Some gardening enthusiasts want to get rid of this bug because they can damage the roots of the plant, but I welcome them,
” Ayaka said. “This pot has no bottom and the plant can extend its roots deep into the ground, so it does not damage the plant. The roly poly and the plant can coexist. And I am very happy to see it.”