It all started at Glastonbury in 2000, we'd taken the campervan which was parked a LONG way away and got very hot
in the sun. One afternoon we discovered the Tipi Field and were struck by the beauty of the Tipis together, the
ribbons floating gently in the breeze, and the coolness inside the tipis compared to the heat of the day.
Two years later, and just pregnant with our first child, Mike asked if I wanted to go to Glastonbury again. I said that I did as long as we had somewhere decent to sleep, to which Mike answered that he would make a Tipi. The rest, as they say, is history...
That year we stayed in a brand new gleaming white 18ft Crow Style Tipi.
Later that same year we took it to Newgale beach in Pembrokeshire where it weathered everything Wales could throw at it in fine style - The springy plastic dome tents around us were literally flattened by the force of the wind, and it didn't matter that a little rain came in the middle with the smoke flaps open, because it just fell in the fire.
Mike, having caught the Tipi bug, then made a 9ft Sioux to permanently pitch in our garden. It is host to tea parties and pirate raids; it's a fairy castle, a rocket ship, and sometimes even a tipi. Then he made a second 18ft for his father to pitch in the summer at his farm. However, he harboured an ambition to make a REALLY big Tipi, larger even than the largest we'd seen at festivals. In 2005 he was given the excuse to make it. Two different friends were to get married in the summer and, having seen our 18ft Tipi, each wanted one at their respective weddings.
After months of toil the 30ft was ready for the weddings. Unfortunately for the first wedding, permission was not granted to use the adjacent field, so we pitched the 18ft on the lawn for them instead. Unbeknownst to them we set it up for a romantic wedding night away from their kids. The second wedding a week later went to plan and the 30ft Tipi, resplendent in ribbons and balloons, played host to a champagne reception for 100+ people. It has since been a repair workshop at a paragliding trade show, the venue for a chlidren's birthday party, and used for a pagan wedding and all night party. We have also hired out the 18ft for several birthday parties.
Still caught by the Tipi bug, Mike then found a picture of the Joseph Dead Feast Lodge (Nez Perce) 1905, photographed by E.S. Curtis... nothing like a challenge for our spare time! So watch this space :o)