25 . 08 . 15
Moving and baking: DOH 2015 Part I

TBC’s third iteration bread oven, tarpaulin and plywood tents in a field, hot tub and eating breakfast one morning. Writing by Julia Georgallis, images by Featuring Featuring…

It occurred to me when I quit my job as a designer that what I wanted was a lifestyle, not a job. I suddenly realised I’d lived my whole life in a city and was in an industry that dealt exclusively with stuff. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that, I like stuff – it’s really nice. But it somehow wasn’t what I wanted to do. So, I like food, I thought. A lot. And I like backpacking. Really, a lot. I like the idea of moving around, like a snail, with everything you need on your back, perhaps like how people used to do before they had televisions and sofas and cutlery and hair-brushes. So I started baking. And then, once I’d started baking I thought ‘wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could bake’ and then ‘wouldn’t it also be nice to move around and teach everyone how to bake’ and then ‘hey, England is really nice wouldn’t it be nice to move around in England, baking?’ There are other factors that led to the conception of TBC but the idea of a more nomadic life appealed to me. So I started moving and baking.

Now, in spite of all this, the idea of leaving the city actually sort of terrifies me. But, recently, I’ve been thinking more and more about the English countryside and the great outdoors. So when my two very good friends told me their, what sounded at the time, hair brained scheme to build a campsite on a plot of land on a remote Swedish island, it both frightened and intrigued me. A few months later, I was on that island, running around in literally fields of wild flowers, baking bread for 20 hungry creative people for a project called Designers on Holiday. The project, which will take place every summer, run by my friends Tom Gottelier and Bobby Petersen (aka design practice Featuring Featuring) enables people to leave behind their daily routine for a few days or weeks and build their very own rural getaway. A total of 20 of us travelled to Gotland with a project that we wanted to realise on the island and in return for our creative contribution we were allowed to camp for 2 weeks. After a million trips to the equivalent of Swedish B&Q, a multitude of early morning cold showers, and what seemed like hundreds of discussions about how to build things by the campfire, our little clan built 10 tents, a very nice outdoor shower, a bread oven (by Bobby Petersen and I), a loom (by Laylah Cook), a kiln (by David and Laurence Symonds</a>), a hot tub (by James Shaw), a herbal distillery to make soap and cosmetics (by Santi Guerrero Font, Olaya Ruiz & Afra Quintanas), a boat (by Tom Gottelier and Avantika Agarwal), a very big flag (by David Horan), a pavilion (by architect Chloe Leen), natural paints and pigments (by Malgorzata Bany), millions of carved wooden spoons and a cinema screen in the woods where sound artist Boris Laible curated a brilliant sound/visual performance one Sunday night. Oh and, I should probably mention that there was already a huge tent made from handmade waxed cotton and a 2-man sauna when we got there. Building all these REAL THINGS and living almost entirely outside for 2 weeks was a really liberating experience. To have the opportunity to have free reign over a patch of land is a wonderful thing and has really been happening for hundreds of years – people have probably been escaping the city since cities were invented. Being outside and baking for people who are so happy to receive a home made loaf, made in a bread oven that I designed myself, powered by wood from that spot of land, is exactly why I started TBC and I look forward to returning next year to Sweden for another few weeks of outdoor cooking in that sunny (well, a bit sunny), Swedish field.

Thanks to Elfrida and her lovely family for instigating the project, Bobby Petersen and Thomas Gottelier of Featuring Featuring for their drive and organization and Magnus for his company. Other holidaymakers who I haven’t mentioned in this post, but who definitely deserve a mention include Rain Wu, Colin Mcswiggen, Erik Knudson, Aarika Hernandez and Hilary Symonds.