(photo by Steve Jonas)
This stone arch, created by participants in our 2007 Vermont Stone Workshop, captures a mouse-hole view of our pond.
When you shrink the size of an opening, what’s behind it seems to become more significant. It’s the same effect as when you look through a telescope or a porthole on a ship: the world is reduced to just what’s inside the frame. Because the frame is small, you contemplate what’s in view and notice every detail. This effect works best with a limited number of openings in an otherwise solid wall. A form of the hide-and-reveal idea (see page 148 in Home Outside), mouse-holing is a little like playing peek-a-boo with the viewer: Now you see it (the view), now you don’t. You can use a mouse-hole as a kind of tease, giving little tastes along the way until the whole opens up to view at a wider vantage point. If you can actually walk through a mouse hole, the effect becomes even more powerful.
(photo by Randy O’Rourke)
The entry to our house has a strong “mouse-hole effect,” drawing the visitor in toward the light and the view. The deep purple wall contrasts strongly with the bright southern light in the dining room beyond.