Otter Surfboards’ 2019 Annual Gathering of Makers26 . 09 . 19
Last Saturday we welcomed back a large cast of our “workshopper” family for our 2019 Annual Gathering of Makers when we gather together for a surf and then an evening of food, drink, music, art and sharing stories back at the farm where it all began for us.
This year, for the first time ever, the September surf failed to arrive and we met at the car park above the beach to find sets struggling to reach shin high lapping on the shore. But, beach games saved the day (morning) and the twenty or so workshoppers who had joined us finished their coffees and enjoyed what became a rather competitive game of rounders on the beach, using bellyboards for bases. The surf did pick up to knee high as the tide dropped, and we washed the sand off with a swim and small bellyboard session. We even managed to get William in the sea for his first taste of the waves surrounded by love and warmth from everyone.
That evening around sixty former workshoppers, joined by their families and some of the friends who have helped us along our way over the years, gathered at Dunkirk Farm between St Agnes and Mount Hawke, just over the hill from our workshop. Our dear friends Jez and Ange are always such amazing hosts; their large barn had been cleared of animals and machinery and along with James’ sister Vicky they’d prepared an amazing spread of food sourced primarily from the farm – a largely vegan feast supplemented by roast pork from one of their own herd of Tamworth pigs, with liquid refreshment provided by the good folks at Skinner’s Brewery in the form of their Porthleven Pale Ale. Live music again came courtesy of the talented Nick Radford (aka Frootful) who provided two beautiful sets of smooth and soulful guitar sounds. You can listen to more of Nick’s music here.
This year, what has now become our regular AGM art installation was created by friend, former workshopper and surf artist Ben Cook; Ben produces collaged Surf Flower prints to highlight the toxic parody of surf equipment and over the last few months has been working with his son Radley to create a more eco alternative using images of 100 of our workshoppers’ wooden surfboards. This was displayed in a frame made from wooden surfboard offcuts, with a key alongside it so that our guests could pick out their own surfboard in the flower. Should you wish to hang one of these on your own wall, there is a limited edition run of 100 fine art prints available that you can purchase here.
As always our workshoppers, most of whom made their wooden surfboard alongside only one or two other people, bonded over their shared experiences and, in some cases, over their admiration of each others handiwork! It’s always so lovely seeing this broad group of lovely humans getting together and getting to know each other.
Our enormous thanks, as always, to Jez, Ange, Si and Vicky for hosting and feeding us so well at Dunkirk Farm; to Nick for entertaining us, to Ben for producing such a beautiful artwork, and to everyone who helped out in the lead up and on the day. We can’t wait to see you all again next year, whether a past workshopper… or perhaps a prospective workshopper?
You can find out about our calendar of 2019-2020 wooden surfboard courses by clicking here – you’ll leave with a new board and an invite to AGMs from next year onwards.