Our Spaces

Every part of The Brake has its own story to tell. Click on a place to find out more:

The Workshop

Built in 2003 by Phil and Nick, this 1000 square foot building has been the centre of Nick’s working life since then. It is built of local larch and fully equipped with old and robust woodworking machinery. There is enough workspace for up to 6 participants, and a range of hand tools to cover the exploration of all aspects of woodwork. Workbenches, shaving horses, and treadle lathes enable a silent and slow steeping in the joy of making in wood.

The Studio

We have recently extended and improved Dolly’s studio and workspace, giving Dolly her own private space, while accommodating a kitchen, bathroom, hallway and chill out area. We had a lot of fun with our friends Mel and Stu using a variety of materials including timber, rubber, recycled glass, corrugated iron, hemp-lime plaster, homemade oak laths etc.. It is wacky in places and very lovely. It has had a long and varied history in the story of The Brake, having been the garage when we arrived. It has been a music room, ping pong venue, and general teenage hang out zone, but in the last few years it has truly found its roll as the Studio, and centre for the EarthDrawn and Creative Being Workshops.

Jackson's Cabin

When we moved into The Brake, the main house was a dilapidated wooden bungalow that had been much loved but neglected in its upkeep. It was riddled with damp and impossible for young children and an asthmatic to live in. So we resolved to build a Cabin and live in it until the house was habitable. We happily lived in there for six months over the wet winter of 1999 and became so used to the cosy proximity of each other's company that we felt sure the house was really too big for the five of us. In time we were grateful for the choice to move on and have seperate spaces to eat, sleep and play in. Through the encouragement of enthusiastic friends we rebuilt the Cabin in 2006 while our little dachshund puppy Jackson ran around our feet. He was tragically killed at this time, and a blueberry bush in the garden marks his body, while his name graces the Cabin with the love and fun that he brought us while he was alive. There is no doubt that the Cabin is a magical place to hide away, the visitors books are witnesses to this. It has sheltered over a hundred couples and families over the years, and introduced us to wonderful people we would otherwise never have met.

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Jake's Place

Jake’s Place is a quirky wooden hideaway for 4 adjoining the Brake with stunning views over the Devon valleys to the sea beyond. It is part of the creative Kary homestead, annexed to the house, and sharing the land with Jackson’s Cabin and our workshops.

Approached by its own private path, it is set in an enclosed garden shaped around a 40 year old oak tree. There is plenty of room for kids to play, a playhouse, slide and trampoline, and a raised bank with a bench from which to chill out and take in the view. A large deck adjoins the kitchen and allows for relaxed outside meals when the weather permits.

Internally it has the same intimacy and warmth as Jackson’s Cabin, with quite a bit more space and luxury. The kitchen/dining area is a gorgeous double height room with southern light radiating from a large window looking out onto the garden and sea view. Light during the day, it is cosy and intimate at night, with the warmth of the wood burner, and snuggly sofa.

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The Well

The Well provided water to the house long before we arrived at The Brake. We have recently revived it, building a stonewall and chestnut roof to truly do justice to this wonderful feature. It is situated in between The Studio and The Bakehouse and central to all that occurs in the EarthDrawn spaces.

We see it as a metaphor for the work we do on the EarthDrawn courses. From a narrow head a well penetrates deep into the ground to gather the water that lies hidden beneath us. Here at The Brake the work we do with paint, bread, wood and words is simple and fun. Yet the feeling of well being that comes from drawing water from the well and mixing it with flour to make bread, or with pigments to make paint, takes us very much deeper.

The Bakehouse

The Bakehouse is more of a sculpture than a building. A joint passion for baking sourdough bread lead us to dream of one day building a cob oven. Nick has been utterly extraordinary in his determination to make a dream come true. (Yet fair to say he had the hidden motivation of incorporating the Sauna for which he had been waiting for so long.) Over time, with various teams of enthusiastic friends bestowing their much-appreciated gifts of time and talent, he has managed to create a much-loved covered outdoor kitchen. The twisted tree trunks, timber cladding, recycled pool tables, stained-glass windows, pebble mosaics and ships' portholes, have truly endowed The Bakehouse with a character of its own. The Bakehouse is a piece of wood butchery, a celebration of the crazy and spontaneous, and imbues all who come within with just a little of its wild charm. It is where we gather to bake and talk about food, listen to our stories while cooking on the EarthDrawn workshops.

The Garden

Often overgrown and rich with life, our gardens evolve with the rest of The Brake. Whether blooming with pink blossom, peppered with primroses or scattered with autumn leaves, they are a constant source of semi-wild beauty. We planted the Forest Garden about 4 years ago with the intention of growing various soft fruits and perennial vegetables. There is nothing quite like a bowl of freshly picked blueberries, strawberries and gooseberries to wake up to. Yet the exposure of this site, the shading of the great beech trees, and the dampness of the ground are challenging companions on the journey to grow our own food. The learning curve has been long and steep with many a season passing by with nature having her way. We are slowly growing into more confident gardeners, but the difficulty we at times experience is a salutary reminder of the huge challenge of growing one’s own food.

Jackson's Holiday Cabin DevonJake's Place, Holiday Accommodation Devon

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