Yurt Workshop Blog
Authentic Design Specialised for the European Climate
After a long and wet winter we are back in full production making your yurts for the spring and summer.
We really like yo hear from our customers. We recently received this from Cloud House Farm.
"Our good friends over at the Yurtworkshop make some of the most beautiful yurts available in Europe.
They not only supplied out 2 spectacular Cloud House yurts, custom made to order, they also supply customers all over Europe and beyond which has given them the experience, in our opinion, to build the best yurts possible. With incredible attention to detail, constant testing and refinement their yurts were and remain to be the best on the market.
We’re proud to have partnered with the Yurtworkshop"
May 2012Yurt Workshop Expands and Improves
So much has happened this last year. We have now two new workshops. The first dedicated to felt and liner making.
Our felt insulation is thick and warm and takes a lot of space to sew. With new dedicated rooms, machines and staff we have a beautiful environment to make these covers in.
In addition, we have secured a new wood working shop for our carpenters to prepare the solid wood parts of the yurt. As ever we use our traditional methods and practices couple with the latest glues, paints and finishes.
Furthermore, we introduced a custom door knocker, hand made at our local forge in the shape of a traditional Mongol crown.
Other improvements include new options for the inner and outer covers, a fire retarded fabric (to BS) especially useful for those renting their yurts to the general public.
New high quality wood finishes were tested and have now been incorporated into our work. These water based finishes are less toxic to our staff, give a superior long lasting natural look finish and combine beautifully with the natural oils we use on the wood. The resultant colour of our chestnut frames is a deep honey and we believe is even more beautiful than before.
As ever we continue to receive positive feedback from new customers and old. This month I recieved this note from Kari, a customer who lives in FInland and received his yurt last year.
Hi Rob and Ratna!
Greetings from Juva. I am right now at my yurt site to clean up for summer.
I am happy to report that the yurt survived the cold and snowy winter
very well. The weather conditions varied a lot. In the beginning
(November and December) it was very humid and rainy. After that, lots
of snow and very cold (sometimes almost -30 centigrade)
I visited the place once a month for a few days to check that things
are all right. Everything was and is. Once, in March, there was about
30 cm of heavy snow on the roof. The roof held nicely, but of course I
removed it from the roof immediately after I arrived.
Also, there was a furious storm right after Christmas. The wind broke
a 30 meter spruce in half and the top (15 meters) fell right beside
the yurt (six meters from the wall). I was not here when this
happened, but learned about it afterwards. The yurt itself was not
effected by the storm, though.
All the best
- Kari, from the deep forests of Finland
We just sent a yurt to Finland. This is our first to that beautiful country. Here is the email I received.
Hi Rob and Ratna.,
The yurt arrived yesterday and we pitched it straight away with my dad. It is just splendid. Excellent craftsmanship!
And Rob, thanks for the advice that I should get the door. It really is great!
All is well in Juva!
This year we have expanded further with a new building for storage and sewing. We are busier than ever with orders coming from all over Europe. With our new improved gallery we hope to share more and more of the beauty of our craftsmanship with you all.
NHS Trust to use a Yurt Workshop yurt. We are pleased that Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have selected Yurt Workshop to supply a yurt for use as a new 21 foot treatment and meeting room. We look forward to supplying this later next month.
Yurt Workshop supplies yurts to Gaia Horizon Project.
We are please to have just returned from delivering a large custom yurt to the Gaia Horizon Project close to Ronda in Andalucìa.
The 21 foot yurt with full insulation has a beautiful oak door and two large oak windows. The luxury room will be used to house guests at their ecological project close to Ronda and can be rented for holidays from September.
Seon Crockford, founder of Gaia Horizon, was thrilled to receive this customised yurt and has already confirmed another order with us.
"GaiaHorizon is helping find solutions to some of the challenges we all face, not only our personal challenges as individuals and as a species, but those of the entire planet as a collective.
Soon the perception of the human majority will realize that we are all interconnected, that the human race can not exist without the planets diverse life systems.
We must learn to honor and respect our natural world. We can learn from nature, we can make a difference, we can ensure a future for the generations yet to come, we can....... if we choose."
Around The Yurt
Everything you want to know about yurts. This new web site contains an ever expanding catalogue of detailed information, links, books, videos and much more.
What leads a PhD Chemistry student to become a master yurt maker?
Durham alumnus Dr Rob Matthews tells Newswire of his journey from Durham to Andalucia, and the motivations behind his choice to live in a low impact dwelling in the Alpujarras Mountains. This week, Rob will be a participant in the third International Felt Symposium in the Kyrgyz Republic. Described as an opportunity to “discover the secrets of Kyrgyz felt traditions”. This career move is dramatically different to the life Rob envisioned when he left Durham University. Rob completed his PhD in Chemistry in 1993 and after a stint in Durham Waterstones, he left to begin a career in an IT software company. He went on to become a freelance IT consultant, and eventually established his own small internet company in London. At the same time he began a MA in Psychotherapy, aware that he wanted to move into a different career area. However, illness forced him to search for a warmer climate than the UK's, and he began to look at moving to Australia. Some years later, with an Australian Visa application taking its time to come through, Rob and his wife visited Madrid on holiday. The vivacity and charisma of the people that he met there planted in his mind the idea of moving to Spain. Rob felt that Spain to be a passionate place, where the people are more alive. Two years ago the dream came true and he moved to Andalucia. An interest in ecological living and low impact dwellings combined with the intention to run a retreat led Rob to think about the type of accommodation that he would like to offer his visitors. He began to research the yurt, a traditional, mobile dwelling from countries such as Mongolia. He discovered a master yurt maker who made yurts in the UK. He bought the first yurt, and then learned to make them himself from this expert yurt maker, who remains an advisor in yurt matters technical today. Rob started a business making bespoke yurts and selling them through his website, and is now converting his farm so that he can realise his original dream of providing yurt holidays in Spain. The holidays are designed “for those who are fed up of the hustle and bustle of busy lives and are looking for something quiet and tranquil”. The accommodation is simple and peaceful, according to the website: “Getting back to nature, living close to the Earth is a great way to escape and revitalise oneself”. But it is not only the yurts that are low impact; the showers are solar powered, and the toilets provide compost. The family are about to begin taking bookings for the spring. The inspiration for low impact living came partly from the outstanding setting of the Alpujarras Mountains, an area of natural beauty and rich in wildlife. This is due largely to the irrigation systems connecting local villages with the snowmelt, a plentiful source of water which was identified by the Moors as a lifeline to agriculture and sustained existence in the region. The Moors left an infrastructure which is still in place today and distinguishes the lush area from the barren, sun scorched neighbouring mountains. The village nearest to Rob’s farm has only 60 inhabitants, and small, basic shops. There are certainly no large chain supermarkets close by; when one of his tools breaks Rob has an hour’s drive to replace it. He speaks highly of a slow pace, where quality of life is prized. So what is next on the list for the Matthews family? A mud house, of course. Rob will be running workshops on how to construct mud housing in the new year, once planning permission has been granted for his own small mud cottage. He estimates it will take 2 years to build, but it will outlast the popular concrete buildings springing up around new developments in Spain. The techniques differ a little from Cob dwellings of the UK but the two countries do share a tradition, which is increasingly popular with those seeking to reduce the impact their lives have on the countryside around them. He is also looking at solar living, powering water heaters and electricity with the sun.
Alpujarra Yurt Inn
The Alpujarra Yurt Inn is located high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains that have been made famous by Chris Stewart’s wonderful book “Walking Over Lemons”. Staying in the mountain valley is the ideal way to unwind and comfortably enjoy the natural surroundings.
With shady forests, olive groves, natural springs, and two white washed villages close by, the site is full of adventure and has something for everyone.
Sleeping in a beautiful and authentic Mongolian Ger (a yurt) means comfortable nights while still living close to nature. Staying at the Alpujarra Yurt Inn gives you a chance for some adventure, to get back to nature, whilst still living comfortably.
The yurt is arranged and furnished for your comfort. Tastefully decorated, comfortably arranged, the yurt has its own private space to enjoy the sun, or sit in the shade while you enjoy the splendid views, play with the children or simply relax.
During the season the temperature is generally warm and the flora and fauna in abundance. The sound of the river trickling by, the birds singing and the sound of the gentle sway of the poplar trees is the backdrop to the peaceful and relaxing environment.
23 February 2007:
The Ger Goes Into Space: Yurt Workshop Reaches For the Stars
We have been honoured with a commission for a custom built "Special" ger for Yorkshire’s first planetarium, based at Harewood House near Leeds.
Project Director, Richard Everiss, visited the workshop this week to meet Rob and the Yurt Workshop staff. He spent two days with us while we finished covering the ger.
Richard’s specifications included three 2m doors, extra high walls and a silver finish on the outer cover. He also commissioned a painted crown that would emphasise
the space theme.
The chance to construct a "special" is something we welcome and 3 months down the line the hard work is paying off and the ger is shaping up.
Richard wrote the following, "The Ger itself is simply a thing of understated beauty. Adapted to meet my requirements it could have been a disaster but the care and attention which has been lavished on it during its construction is evident. Rather like finding a smooth pebble on a beach, so Robert and his wife Ratna have handcrafted a building that is wonderful to touch and feels naturally balanced. "
Later next week the "The Space Ger" will be taken to Leeds and pitched inside one of the enormous geodesic domes where it will be used as a chill-out area and classroom.
More information about The Yorkshire Planetarium can be found here: www.yorkshireplanetarium.co.uk