Last week, while lying on the settee with a bad dose of the lurgy, I flicked through an old sketchbook, trying to kick start my brain into thinking again.

There were several ideas that I’d had, but had abandoned either because 1) They were stupid ideas  2) They were impractical 3) I didn’t have the confidence to do them  4) They took me out of my comfort zone and worryingly 5) I couldn’t be bothered making the effort.

I had five days off work coming up (This week) so I thought, why not start going through that list and see how many I can do. If they don’t work, fine. At least I can say that I tried.

First on the list was making a few of my paper works into more solid structures. I’d thought about using clay for a while, but couldn’t think how I could get access to the materials and kiln without committing myself to a 10 week course.

It was just by chance then that I discovered a local studio who offered 2 hour sessions for a small fee.

As it turns out, I was pretty rubbish at throwing and kneading the Clay – ‘Are you trying to make bread or something’??   and I think the others who were busy decorating their pots were a little bemused at my cutting out plane shapes with biscuit cutters, but I got there and was so happy with the result.

I have to wait a couple of weeks now before they can go in the kiln, but it means I can get on with other things while waiting.

So next on the list, was a visit to the cobblers across the road from my studio. While making my paper boots for the Barnaby festival, I’d thought about asking this guy to help me make a pair from leather.  Again, I’d thought about it…then crossed it off my list as I thought a business would think it was stupid idea and a complete waste of time.

But what did I have to lose? I went in.

To my delight, he was completely fascinated by the tiny paper boots I had produced, and was pleased to help. Unfortunately, he didn’t stitch leather anymore and didn’t know anyone else who did this dying skill, but he was happy to talk through solutions.

He gave me a pot of glue and strips of strong leather to use as soles. I just need to find an old leather bag or something from a charity shop, to cut up. (no easy task – I went to 6 already without luck, but will try a different area today) If I can’t find leather this time, I guess I can use a faux mix – at least to get me on the track again.

Its such a good feeling to actually act on something I’d thought about for a while.  I just can’t believe how much I have achieved in just a few days. Its been a dream – being able to work without any pressure of time or money.