Last Autumn I got a new business neighbour on the farm.
Outdoor Explore moved into the barn beside my workshop. I first met Piotr from Outdoor Explore a few years ago when I went on a Night Kayaking Tour with some friends. It was brilliant and I had always intended to go again, but you know how life just moves on and you don’t make time to do the things you want to…?
Well, not long after he moved in, Piotr asked me to make some little cups for his kayaking tours. Even though I don’t do commissions anymore, of course I agreed!
I made some espresso sized tumblers with no handles, and glazed them in my green polka dot style, to keep with the outdoor theme.
To see my pots in action, Piotr said he would take me on a Sunrise Kayak Tour. We set off one morning last week. It was a very cold, but dry morning. There was no wind, so perfect kayaking conditions. There was a glimmer of pink in the sky glowing in the wing mirrors as we drove to Loch Tummel. I was excited.
When we arrived we got kitted out in our waterproofs and life jackets and started to paddle down the loch. It was quite cloudy so the pink sky I’d hoped to see did not appear. The water was so clam in some parts it was like glass and the trees along the shore reflected beautifully. At some points you could see a snowy mountain top peeking through too, and even in the distance Glencoe. After paddling for about an hour we stopped and had breakfast. I had packed croissants, fruit and flapjacks, Piot provided the Picnic boards, a flask of coffee and my cups.
It was so nice to experience using my own pottery in a completely different setting to normal. The cups are perfect to wrap your hands around and help warm up cold fingers. If I didn’t have to make pottery I wish I could eat breakfast like this every morning! Can you imagine eating breakfast in a kayak, on a loch, listening to the birds and waterfalls? Just bliss.
Not only is Outdoor Explore passionate about kayaking, but the trip was made even more interesting with stories and historical facts about the loch and surrounding area. Piotr is also championing local independent businesses. When he provides the food for his trips he uses the local Deli, Cornerstone. The coffee is supplied by Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters, and it’s all served on specially made Picnic Boards made by Highwood Furniture, and of course the cups made by me!
This was such a fabulous morning last week and one thing that impressed me most was when it was time to leave I managed to paddle the whole way back to shore without knocking anything of my picnic board! This might not have been the case had it been windy!
If you are near Perthshire and up for an adventure I cannot recommend Outdoor Explore enough!
I’m back in the workshop now, working on new designs and dreaming of my next kayaking expedition and I can’t wait!