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Tomorrow is the first day of the four day children’s summer school and I am both excited and nervous. It has been a year since I last ran a workshop and I am feeling out of practice. I am pretty sure that everything will be fine but I am nervous – which is perhaps no bad thing, it will keep me on my toes.

The summer school is part of my work for the local council, and is a new way of working. I have wanted to do something like this since I started back in 2017, and it is the situation with Covid-19 that has enabled me to try it this year. Normally I have to run drop-in activities suitable for all ages and all abilities. This year we are required to limit the number of participants and they have to book a place for all four days. It will be really interesting to see how both the children and I get to know each other over our time together.

Hopefully working practically will shift my mood about my job. I continue to struggle with it and how far it is from what I would prefer to be doing – being in my own studio. Actually it is not just that. I want to be working with other artists. I was reminded of this on Thursday when I had five meetings with different artists about different projects. The day was really good fun, I felt inspired, enthused, and encouraged. Yes there is lots do to realise even the first stages of much that was discussed but everything felt so positive. I find it very frustrating that I am unable to bring my passion to my paid work. And I think that is perhaps more acute because I work with art. When I have worked in other industries (to support myself) I have not expected to be passionate about what I do – though I have often ended up being so, I became a bit of an espresso nerd when working in both a local cafe and a bakery! I think the problem is that the local council is not driven by passion.

With all those meetings I did not have time to do more than open the box of reject and faulty ties that Sarah kindly left outside of my studio. Sarah is a professional photographer who also recently moved to the studios. One of her commercial clients is Sweden largest tie manufacturer/importer. Sarah (via email) introduced me to the company director who was more than happy to give me a box of ties that for one reason or another do not meet their exacting standards. It will be good fun to play with these new ties. I do not know what I want to do with them yet but I know that I do something different with them – no heraldic references, no roses …

I think that my starting point for the ties will be the materials themselves … give myself time to play them on their own and in combination with other materials …

Pavel came passed the studio last week – my first visitor! We had a really good chat about various things that concern us both: our artistic identities, how to develop our careers, our commitment and/or interest in being in an artists’ group. I had not expected to get feedback on the chains of cuff and collars that were hanging on the wall, however Pavel really liked them and saw them not only as finished pieces but being very attractive as public art pieces. His interest and appreciation of them is timely as there is about to be another chance to submit work for public collections. This time six counties in ’middle Sweden’ are buying work from each other’s artists. I had not thought about including either of these pieces but now I think that it might be a good idea. If nothing else it will make me get the work to a point where I can photograph it! I really do want to spend more time at the studio and I am looking forward to doing so during my time off from my job.