Courses With Places
Some long-awaited sunshine has meant that bookings have been very busy lately, for both the glamping and the courses.
As well as the shorter courses, at the time of writing there are two places left on our Coracle Making course being held on July 17, 18 and 19th, and some remaining still on the five day 'Make A Chair From A Tree' course at the end of September.
As ever, bookings for camping or courses can be made 24/7 on our online live availability and booking system:
Glamping In Peace
On the camping front, bookings have been such that we've even found ourselves fully booked midweek in May, which is a very pleasant surprise for an 'off peak' time of year. Do book-up soon if you've been thinking of coming down but haven't got around to firming it up yet - once we're full, we're full!
Of course, the flipside of 'once we're full, we're full' - and something we're particularly pleased with - is that even when we are fully booked, with just seven 'tents' the site remains very tranquil. Say it ourselves, we think we've hit the right balance!
If you fancy doing a course (whether you're staying with us or not), don't forget that you can now book any course whenever you like on any available day, as long as there are two of you to start a new course on a new date.
We do appreciate that some people would prefer to come alone and with this in mind we are trying to find an easy and secure way for people to register an interest in a particular course within specific dates, and for this information to be shared between like-minded potential course goers, a bit like a 'crafty' dating agency I guess!
If anybody knows of any clever way of achieving this without endangering people's privacy I would be really grateful to hear.
Pizza Making On Film
The pizza oven has been getting lots of use and in response to popular demand we have made a short film about how to fire the oven and then make pizzas in it. You can find it at the bottom of the 'Contact/Information' page:
The idea is that if you are here in the woods you can view this at anytime, on your phone or tablet or on the laptop in the communal yurt, and use it as a 'how to' guide on using the oven. In time we plan to add more videos on other activities here in the woods.
Warnings By Wooden Priests ...
The sauna has been getting a lot of use recently too and, again in response to feedback from guests, we have now made an early warning system to alert those in the sauna that it is time to wrap a towel around themselves as other guest are coming!
To achieve this we have made a steam-bent sweet chestnut tripod with whittled hook and cast bronze meditation bell, complete with a pole-lathe-turned 'priest' (a type of wooden club, not a religious minister) to sound the alarm. I think we successfully utilized the skills in almost all of our courses in constructing this one. The gentle sound of the bell should give plenty of warning and, hopefully, the only red faces from now on will be as a result of the sauna!
... Or Red Flags
The woven willow shower shared by the three bell tents has also been getting some love and attention lately. The woven willow door was at the end of its usable life and has now been added to the kindling pile, and we've replaced it with a cleft chestnut lattice door which affords a good deal more privacy and security when gazing at the trees above during a piping hot tree shower.
Furthermore, we've made absolutely sure that you can now see if this shower is in use by means of a long sapling flagpole and hoist-able red flag. The bell tents are proving very comfortable with their new green canvas flysheets and you can see the new shower flag from all three of them.
(The other yurts, tipi and shepherds hut have their own private tree showers and therefore no flag is required!)
The Illuminated Way
On the technical/web side of things, we are just putting the finishing touches on a new facility on the website for guests to upload their pictures - in order to be entered into the annual competition to win a £250 gift certificate that can be redeemed against courses or camping.
In the meantime, thanks to James D for sending in this picture of the woodland boardwalk being lit at night - I still enjoy the thrill of walking through the woods at night watching these lights illuminate my way and then go off as I walk away and seeing the stars return in the light pollution free skies of West Dorset.
Many guests who are staying with us don't do a course, but instead just enjoy the peace and tranquility of the site and surrounding area. However, that's not to say there aren't opportunities to be creative and to make something for the fun of it. I was particularly impressed by the impromptu galleon made last week by one of our guests, using bits and pieces of off-cut from the course her partner was attending. Staying in the woods really does bring out the child
in us and we are all the better for it!
Art, Craft And Design
Away from the woods, there are two events that I would like to bring to everyone's attention this month. Firstly, my wife Boo has a solo exhibition that runs from 7th June to 6th July at Artwave West, which is not far from here between Bridport and Lyme Regis.
Boo's abstract landscapes are normally exhibited in galleries in London, Bath and St Ives so this is a great opportunity to see such a large body of work in one place - and what's more it's not far from the woods for those that are staying. Some may say I am biased (!) so don't just take my word for it, find out more about this exciting exhibition here:
The other event that I particularly enjoyed was being asked to judge the Craft and Design Selected Awards 2013, for Craft and Design Magazine.
I felt very honoured to be asked and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the work of the finalists and reading their statements and websites - what a very talented group they were too, which made the judging all the more tricky.
There will of course be a full write up in this month's edition of Craft and Design Magazine but you can see the finalists and the work here on their website:
Huge congratulations to Katie Lake who, after much deliberation, I awarded the Gold award to.
And, talking of matters away from the woods, the web site's 'Things To Do and Other Links' page is now live - expanded and improved from the last site's version, and including some recommendations about places to eat and drink too. I reckon any links page that includes Black Cow Vodka has to be worth a few minutes of your time!
That's all for this month, I hope that we see you down here in the woods soon, and long may the sun shine!
Guy and the team