Embracing the Unexpected, correspondence course, Summer 2023

Cultivating curiosity, seizing moments, and letting go of perfection

The course will open for registration at 8pm on Sunday the 23rd of July.

I originally offered this course at the end of 2020, under the name Creative Destruction.  

After one of the most uncertain years of my life, I had to learn how to grasp creative moments where I could find them and follow the trails they set me on.  I began immersing myself in the moments that made me feel creatively awake, especially those that seemed to spark something beautiful at unexpected times and places.   With that in mind, I have reworked the original Creative Destruction course (you can read about that course here), to bring in what I’m calling “Embracing the Unexpected – cultivating curiosity, seizing moments, and letting go of perfection”.

In the last year, I’ve found myself going back to the methods I taught in Creative Destruction, but with a slightly different perspective and slant, and that’s why I’ve reworked the course, keeping most of the lessons, but adding to them in some places and trimming things down in others. 

The course is still very much about working in an unexpected, unpredictable, intuitive way.  There will still be a focus on letting go of perfection, avoiding safe, dependable methods, and opening up to experimentation without expectation, but now there’s the added aspect of really seizing creative moments wherever and whenever they show up. 

I want to offer you a chance to let go of outcomes, and give yourself over to creative play.  I want to give you a reason to stop and enjoy the moments around you and see the creative potentials that exist in the most unexpected places. It’s an opportunity to work without the pressure of having to produce a fixed, predetermined, perfect outcome.  It’s about connecting with your creativity purely for its own sake, to really understand what you are drawn to in the world, and to learn what sparks and seeds catch fire or take root in you. 

The course will still be centred around doll making and free form textile figures, so a basic experience of sewing would be helpful, but not essential.   Whether you are an experienced doll maker or have never threaded a needle, you should be able to find something new and useful in the lessons.  As with all of my courses and workshops, this is not a course where you will learn how to follow a step by step doll making process. This is not a course where you will work from my (or anyone else’s) designs and patterns. This is not a course that will teach you one method of doll making. This is not a course where you will produce the same result as all the others who are taking the course. You will be learning about YOU and what makes you tick, and your work will be entirely personal to you.

We’ll also be working with drawing and mark making, so some experience of using drawing materials is useful, but again, not essential.  The drawing in this course is about connecting with enjoying making marks, not producing a photorealistic image, so let go of any ideas you have about not being able to draw.

We’ll be working with;



Paper sculpture

Free form doll making

Fabric manipulation and sculpture


Using wire in your doll making

Character development

Journalling and reflection exercises

Basic sewing pattern design and construction

Tools and projects to break through creative block and tap into creative intuition. 

How much time will I have to commit to the course?

You’ll receive ten lessons in total – two a week for five weeks.  You will take part in short daily tasks that build up to longer more detailed lessons.  You can work at your own pace as all lessons are emailed in PDF format by me personally, and you can work through them as quickly or slowly as you like.  

I keep class numbers small enough to allow for one to one email tuition with every student.  You can choose the amount of tuition you prefer.  Some participants like to work with me regularly, some prefer to work alone, it’s entirely your choice. 

Is this a Digital Course?

No. You will receive all of your lessons directly via email from me. I send every single email personally. Nothing is automated and nothing is downloaded from the internet. There are no video tutorials, no pre-recorded messages and absolutely no pre-written email responses. Think of this as an old fashioned correspondence course that’s being delivered by email. Although there are many incredible digital courses out there, all of my current courses are deliberately designed to be worked on offline.

What’s the course fee?

Given the unstable financial situation for many in the world right now, the course is offered on a sliding fee scale, from £60 – £120.   You will never be asked to justify or explain what you choose to pay,  and everyone will receive the same lessons and tuition.  

What materials will I need?

As with all the courses I offer, the materials needed for the course are all inexpensive, easy to find, and you will be given plenty of time to get them ready for each part of the course.  Much of what you will need can be found around your home.

How many places are there?

I’m going to limit the places on the course to the number of students I can comfortably connect with over the duration of the course.  I want to be able to offer one to one email support for those who would like or need it.  I don’t want this to be a course where students are flying solo and the teacher has no real connection with anyone.

Unfortunately this means that there are never enough places to meet demand, and that available places fill up very quickly. If you miss out on a place this time around, please get in touch and I may be able to add you to the cancellation waiting list.

How do I register?

Registration will reopen on Sunday the 23rd of July, at 8pm (UK/London time).

How long does the course last?

The course will begin on Monday the 31st of July and run for five weeks. Lessons will be sent on Monday and Thursday afternoons.  You can work at your own pace and all of the lessons will be emailed directly to you so you can access them when ever you need to. 

The methods we’ll be working with have been a massive part of nurturing my creativity, mental health and emotional well being, and I’m really happy to be able to share them with you.

Please keep in mind that this course will focus on basic doll making, and the emphasis will be on exploring creative processes –  not complex doll making processes, for example free standing dolls, animal heads, clay elements or birds beaks. This is a course where you will learn to develop your own way of working and designing.  I cannot offer tuition for any projects that are not covered within the course material. I can however, offer individual, heart felt tuition for the projects and lessons within the course.  Please respect that I will not be teaching how to make specific dolls from my collection.