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 ease out of lockdown and emerge into (hopefully) 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 except 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. Since then, the course has run four times, and is about to run for the fifth time. 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. 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.
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 £50 and a maximum of £120. 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.
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 open on Sunday the 27th of February at 8pm (UK time). At that time, you will be able enter your name and email in the registration form below. Within 24 hours I will email you a place offer, terms and conditions, plus payment details. The form will not appear until 8pm on Sunday evening, so please refresh this page at that time. The form will be available until the maximum number of students are registered, and removed once the course is full. Please complete the form once only.
How long does the course last?
The course will begin on Monday the 7th of March 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.