Nomadic Dreaming workshops

Because we have moved so much in the past. And because I don’t like having a fully kitted workshop sitting about just waiting for that occasional piece of woodwork.

We keep a nomadic workshop, even when we are in one place for a while, it’s a minimalist approach that teaches us to make do and improvise.

This is how we make yurt frames.


Our gas fire

We use every day objects that you can get anywhere in the world. A gas bottle and a land drain pipe for steaming the yurt frame elements.


hmmmm that actually works really well


we love cranes

We suspend the whole rig from our crane (another every day item found anywhere).


Yurt wall jig

Three posts in the ground as jig (ok all yurt makers use this very same rig, even the ones who have workshops)

You get the gist it’s not only that we make nomadic structures we make things as if in on the move n.

Instead of having a shaving horse (another thing that takes space) I use a bit of string and two poles.

It’s a minimalist approach, like Cody Lundin (from dual survival) who walks barefoot to teach his feet to endure and to learn to walk slow , I think one should not spoil oneself with workshops, having another house to house the tools you use to build houses means you need two for each one.

Ok enough with the minimal brain wash


improvised shaving horse

Making yurts is a very special art, it should not really work, we use green wood which is unheard of for final wood fabrication, as wood needs seasoning.

The secret is that in some magical way (fortunate for us nomads without storage space) steaming leaches the wood out and brings the fibres closer together so after a few days the wood is seasoned!!!! It usually takes half a year at least the normal way.

This means that yurt making is good craft for nomads I guess, how lucky for them, as i hate to think what they would have to do otherwise, the truth is that people always knew how to do things quickly.

I decided to try and apply the same leaching and binding properties to other wood work elements to make them more nomadic too.

People carve green wood bowls all the time, you have to use green wood I guess unless you have a power lathe, or some very sharp tools, that part is true to all.

But the bowls need to be seasoned for quite a while, I don’t believe in that, I’m an instant kind of person.
I carve and eat out of the same bowl …… on the same day.


Broad axe


Crooked knife


Done deal

But because there is a reason behind why some like it slow.
That truth is that some of my bowls have cracked because I don’t like it slow enough, so they don’t season and all the wet/dry stuff that comes from bowl life is to much to bear.

The magical answer came to me the other day, why not use the same method to nomadically season the wood.
So I boiled the bowl (just like I steam the ash poles for the yurt walls) the amount of tanin that came out of the oak was formidable, I think the secret is in that leaching the wood out, and driving all the air out of the vessels (pores) one “seasons” wood much quicker. Although I can’t fully figure all the ins and outs of why.

I could see the little air bubbles coming out the end of the pores in The wood, which meant to me that the hot water is in effect flushing it all out.

This is another way in which those who don’t like it slow, don’t like wood working workshops (but like cranes) and can’t wait for their wood to season do things, some like it ……. now.

The advantage is that it does not take much to create a home (or yurt) and make the things you need in it, all in a days work.


Boiling my bowl for dinner

Some tribal societies ended up using their spare time for dreaming, because it only took them few days to build their homes, and 20 minutes or so to gather food to eat, that left a whole lot of time to have collective dreaming projects, This is my cup of tea, and the reason why some like it quick is because they need to leave time for dreaming.

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