Monthly Archives: March 2014

Tales of Yurt Power: First Yurt Frame

images-6This is the start of a series of stories of Yurts…starting with my first yurt frame

Many ways back we were on the road in Scotland, when the Morning Star asked me if I wanted to make a yurt, as we were at a vast ash forest. I had lived in tipis for years and had stepped through the door in sewing my first tipi, but yurts were a exotic new thing so I said yes, knowing that by cutting that tree, I was committing see the process through, wherever it led me. We made the frame totally by hand, starting with making sections for the wheel and the door using an adze by the side of the road in the Sma Glen.

We then found a place where I could stay whilst making the frame, where I first learned about steam bending the wheel, and the heartbreak when the lathes break. After making the rest, I eventually made the wheel with an Eastern princess.

Here it a park in Perth

Complete …in a park in Perth

The story called me to the Holy land before I could make the cover, and being the days when the internet was young, I put a for sale card in the local supermarket. “Yurt frame for sale”. Amazingly in just a few days I ended up selling it to a woman who was yurt inspired after freshly returning from Mongolia.

I was to learn to make yurt covers, in the Galilee, Israel, at the other side of the story line…but that’s another yurt story…


sma glen

The choice will be upon us soon, tae set oor destiny
An we’ll drink a toast tae Scotland yet, whatever yet may be

The Busy Bees of Tent Making

It’s that time, once again, when the people wake up from their winter hibernation, look at the daffodils and say, “Crikey it’s spring – better get moving”.

For Spirits Intent, and our now sister, Wild Canvas, this means making yurts, tipis, Bushcraft tents and custom covers ready for the season. Much of our work is the sewing side of things, and many have already designed their campsites over the winter, but there’s always a few calls that go : “Hi, just dug my 2 yurt canvases out of the barn, and realise that they have holes in them, and it may rain this year, so we probably need new ones. I know it’s a bit late but is there any chance you can get them done by the end of the week?”

We like challenges and somehow it all happens.

The next delivery of canvas

The next delivery of canvas

Yurt Felt
Yurt Felt


Swimming in the P V sea...big camp roof cover for Wild Wise

Swimming in the P V sea. Camp cover for Wild Wise

Sand and Khaki Canvas Mountain

Sand and Khaki Canvas Mountain


Yurt Canvas and Felt linings for Henry Dowell (

Yurt Canvas and Felt Peak going to  Henry Dowell


2 more of those Wild Canvas Baker Tents - ready for the wilds

2 more of those Wild Canvas Baker Tents – ready for the wilds

Truck Boxes and Overland Campers

Truck Boxes and Overland Campers

morning star

Morning star

We are getting ready to go on an adventure, to take the Zodiac tent and create a centre. It means we needed to get some kind of a storage container so we can store in movement. So the other day early in the morning saw the Morning Star on the way to Bristol, to get a storage container to go on the back of our bigger Mercedes 1823 .

Burnt transit

Burnt transit


Tnt box

Tnt box

I did a turn at westeligh (westerly road) and the guys in the scrap years were hard core but funny, so we soon got it on the back of the truck. One can’t believe how much weed grows around parts of Bristol, It was surprising to me anyhow.


Surprising weed

Then back home it was time to quickly knock some windows into our Mercedes 814 4×4 overland camper.

mercedes 814 4x4 overland camper

mercedes 814 4×4 overland camper windows knocked (quickly)


New Blog Pasture

For all our brothers and sisters out there who are visiting this blog regularly, you may have noticed that it now looks a bit different and relocates to the new home of Spirits Intent, which is keeping up with the rhymes and thymes. If you continue to watch, you will have the vision of the next glorious stage.


Of Mountains and Canvas, of Baker Tents and the Welsh Robin Hood


The Yurt Cover mountain range

Been staring at mountains of canvas for some time now….


Yurt wall ridge

…which decided us it is time to go to the mountains in canvas (in our larger baker-tent). As you may know we currently live in Wales which happens to be very Wild and beautiful, especially around here. On a Canvas delivery last week we were told about the Welsh Robin Hood – Twm Sion Cati so we decided we are going to start exploring at Dinas Hill.


Dinas Hill

His magical cave just happens to be just south of my favourite spot the Llyn brianne reservoir, and we quickly scaled the hill to the cave, and amazingly we found our names on the wall of fame: it is a Welsh secret that anyone who carves their name in that cave becomes…….. (not going yo tell you if you don’t know it already or it would not be a secret).


The Cave wall of fame

It  reminded me later on, when came to a waterfall, of the Journey to the Heart of the World by Ian Baker where he goes to seek the illusive mythical waterfall, but to get to it he has to follow a set of directives. The Tibetans believe that the landscape is the body of a goddess and her secret spots are “Beyuls“: (spots that are gateways, some are described like Paradise, some are places in other worlds), but in order to get to the waterfall he had first to go and visit the mountain top, and that also could not be done directly. So circling around Dinas Hill made think about all that, the Body of the Welsh Goddess and her Wild spots. I am a great advocate of the power of the wild, in fact I secretly hope that religion will revert back to the days before gods, when mountains and valleys are where the powers are, powers before they solidified into personifications as mountain gods and goddesses – of rain and thunder) when naturalism was pure and power was pure and nature was pure……. ok enough, breath.




At the top of Devil’s Staircase


At the bottom of Devil’s Staircase

We went through forests and up and down the hills looking for a spot to pitch up that night and and ended up going of the road on one of the most off-road routes in wales: the Strata Florida 4×4 track.

This to me is the best part of Wales, where wild oaks and rough mountains come together, “where wild horses are in the face of the battle”


Wild Horses with face for a battle

It was getting dark, and we realised that our cute little 4×4 just defeated the most 4×4 worthy track and that in fact we don’t feel much for green laning, when with a sigh when we hit the the tarmac again and stopped bouncing. Why people call this fun defeats me with all the burning clutch smell, and fearing for the vehicle anatomy, like worrying about shock absorber bushes etc, , you know that picture of fording a river with your Defender, I mean seriously ?


Baker Tent

So anyhow… we took back to the lake, and,almost dark we quickly pitched up the tent, (the Land Rover Campfire Tent without the Land Rover) and went wooding in the dark and the rain, like good gypsies do.


Baker tent (campfire tent) by the lake


Fire Lit


Gypsy tipping tea

That night was lovely: the wildness of the place and darkness poured colour into my dreams and I felt energised sleeping there by the power of the wilds which was enhanced by fasting the whole day, and walking (and some intense 4x4ing) the Welsh Goddess.


Morning Coffee Yoffi

We woke up early to an amazing misty morning, with canvas banging in the rain and the wind, and our hearts feeing wild. It was like a scene from one of Bill Mason’s documentaries, and a grand victory for the baker Tent, which has proved itself the real tent of the wild. We were recently involved in a heated debate (ok actually it was only me that got heated) about the ups and downs of this fabulous open fire tent, one of our new wild canvas range.

So no more Debate.