New Year! New You!
Get some zing into your new year and join one of West Dean’s inspiring short courses where you can learn a new skill and make something beautiful, whilst enjoying the exquisite surroundings and relaxed atmosphere of this impressive Edwardian mansion.
Check out our top ten January courses for beginners and don’t forget to ask for your 10% discount (telephone bookings only) if it is your first course at West Dean.
Contemporary and traditional bead threading and knotting
Suitable for all
Learn the art of bead jewellery to a professional standard as you make a range of necklaces which may include antique and semi-precious beads.
Making simple furniture – for complete beginners
Learn basic woodworking techniques and gain practical insights into making furniture as you make a small bench. Suitable timber is supplied at cost. All essential tools, hand planes and chisels are provided.
Silversmithing for beginners – spoons and bowls
Learn all about the basic craftsmanship of silversmithing including forging, blocking, planishing, soldering and annealing. Expect to complete a silver spoon and small bowl.
Throwing and turning for beginners
Experience throwing pots on the wheel and enjoy having one-to-one tuition on your own wheel throughout the course as you learn the important techniques and processes for completing pots.
An introduction to creative blacksmithing
Learn the ancient techniques of blacksmithing whilst creating a small contemporary sculptural piece or a functional item for the house or garden.
Introduction to making puppets
Create a small rod puppet by modelling, sewing, painting and joining using a variety of materials. First the head, hands and feet are modelled and then the body is constructed. Bring the puppet to life by painting in facial details and attaching hair.
Traditional English leatherwork – basic skills
Learn about leather, leather-working hand tools and the techniques for using them as you work on introductory projects in naturally tanned leather. Projects made are a braided wristband, a hand-stitched belt and a small belt pouch or shoulder bag.
Suitable for all
Try out lacemaking without purchasing any equipment if you are a beginner, or work on your chosen patterns – including Bucks Point, Torchon or Bedfordshire lace – to develop skills if you have lacemaking experience.