This past week has all been about keeping up with the courses that I’m taking, and getting ready to launch my own course – Swirls of Colour – just after Easter.

Swirls was the first course I put together during the first lockdown last summer. It was a workshop that I’d taught for a few years, and had many bookings for. As an online course, it’s been just as popular and hundreds of Swirls have been created since last June, when I tentatively invited a small group of people to try the course for the first time.

Every single one is unique, from the way the colours Swirl around the piece, to the fabrics that are chosen. I’m always absolutely delighted to see what people can create, from the same starting point – part of the fascination and pleasure of teaching!

You can see the Swirls from the autumn class here:

I’m really excited by the things I’ve started to explore in the courses I’ve been taking, with Tansy Hargan and Jane Davies. I took them for different reasons, but I’m hoping that both will serve to make my own work stronger, more personal, help me explore things with more confidence, and ultimately, make me a better teacher. I need to make sure that my own skills are up to scratch, and I need to nurture my own creativity before I can nurture it in others.

Tansy’s sketchbook course was sheer joy. I wanted to finally break the back of using a sketchbook, and I’ve always admired hers. Her approach has been so refreshing, and as I was doing the classes, I felt a definite shift in my thinking and approach.

The textiles course was an absolute no-brainer. Tansy uses all recycled fabrics, just like me, and obviously loves colour – just like me! I was so excited to take this course and learn some new approaches, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

I took Jane’s course because I knew that Jane is absolutely shit-hot at design, and along with sketchbooks, that’s what I wanted to improve next. She’s also a hard taskmaster: there’s been a lot to get through in terms of quantity, but she’s always in the course to comment and critique: as a result I’ve learnt so much about my personal style and preferences (some things that have surprised me) and how to make my designs stronger and/or more interesting. Job done.

I’ve taken a lot of courses recently, and I want to spend some time now consolidating what I’ve learnt, and think about where I want to go next. Related to this, I probably won’t be offering the Swirls of Colour course after this spring – I want to move on and try something new. If you were thinking of doing it, then now’s the time!

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