Creative Doll Making correspondence Course, summer/autumn 2022

An introduction into intuitive design and developing your own unique style of doll making.

The course is now fully booked and will reopen in early 2023.

When it comes to the courses I teach, I’m very much about the time, place and circumstances of the world around me and my students.

I originally wrote this course at the beginning of the lockdown in Scotland in March 2020. Every lesson was written with the students experience of the pandemic in mind; the isolation, the restriction, the shock of not being able to move and meet and interact as we were used to. When writing each lesson I tried to keep in mind just how limited each students resources might be, how small their immediate environment might be, and just how much we could use these experiences as a starting point for connecting with the projects in the course.

As we emerge into a post-pandemic world, I’ve revised and reworked this course with our new way of life in mind. The lessons are the same, but some are presented in a slightly different context to suit where we are now.

Below is an excerpt from my blog post about how the beginning of lock down was making me rethink my ways of working, and forcing me to hone my ideas for an email course. Over each run, I have met and worked with some incredible students, from those who had never before used a needle and thread to experienced doll makers and artists.  It has been a genuine joy and privilege to see their incredible work come to life.  If you’d like to see previous students work, head over to Instagram and take a look at the hashtags #thepalerookworkshop and #palerookworkshop .

The following was originally posted in March 2020, at the beginning of lockdown in Scotland. 

Let’s start with what this course is not.

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 not be learning how to make a Pale Rook Doll and you will not be learning complex pattern cutting (seriously, pattern cutting is hard, even for those of us who have been taught it, and a written course really isn’t the way to learn it unless it’s by a really skilled pattern cutter who can describe complicated measurements and calculations in writing. I’m not one of those).

What I can teach you is how to find your way of working and to identify what makes you tick.

Which leads me to what this course is.

This is a course where you will be taught to identify your own creative triggers, ideas and impulses and to identify what works for you.  This is a course where you will learn how to design your own style of doll, and to draft and cut your own simple doll pattern that can be adapted, tweaked and developed.  Through this course you will learn how to make a doll that is entirely unique and personal to you.   In this course I will share the methods I use to work through creative blocks and design problems. This is a course where you will build a collection of creative ideas and projects, and by the end of it you’ll have the skills and confidence to develop your own doll designs.  As well as opening up your creative flow, this course will give you the practical skills and tools to create dolls with their own character, style and story.

You’ll receive ten emailed lessons – two lessons each week for five weeks. Some of them are deceptively simple creative warm-ups, and some are detailed, challenging and in depth. The lessons will build up from identifying the very beginnings of your creative thinking – finding the seeds that are worth nurturing, finding the triggers that make you think and feel as an artist, to learning simple, practical doll making skills that can be adapted to your own needs.

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. Throughout the course, you can email me for regular private tuition, or work entirely independently. Our interactions will be one to one, and private, not on a social media platform. This was always my plan for this course, and although there are many incredible digital courses out there, this particular one is designed to be worked on offline.

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.

What’s the course fee?

Well, that’s up to you. I’m offering this course on a “pay-what-you-can” basis, with a minimum of £30 and a maximum of £120. I know that many are struggling with financial stresses and I hope that the range of fee options makes the course more accessible. There is no need to justify or explain how much you’d like to pay. Regardless of what you can afford to pay, you’ll receive the same lessons and support as anyone else.

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 so I can offer one to one email support for those who would like or need it.  This is not 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 long does the course last?

The course will begin on Monday the 9th of August 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. 

How do I join the course?

You will be able to sign up for the course from Tuesday the 2nd of August, at 8pm ( United Kingdom time) by clicking on the button below.

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, 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.