Press Release: Turn back time – West Dean College of Arts and Conservation supports future horologists
The College is offering five fully-funded places on a special horology taster course for students aged 16+ years to support the future generation of clockmakers.
In 2019, Clockmaking was classified as an ‘endangered’ craft on the Heritage Craft Association’s Red List of Endangered Crafts, categorising it as “a craft which currently has sufficient craftspeople to transmit the craft skills to the next generation, but for which there are serious concerns about their ongoing viability.”
Students currently studying for their A-levels or BTEC, (typically in engineering, science, maths or a humanities subject), and have an interest in learning hands-on skills, are invited to apply for the four day Introduction to Horology course (ie: clocks, watches and other time-associated mechanisms). The course will take place in the horology workshops at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation near Chichester, West Sussex from Monday, April 6 through to Thursday, April 9, 2020. It is tailored to appeal to students, who are considering their options, and may be interested in studying on the College’s two-year Foundation degree (FdA) in Historic Craft Practices.
Subject leader at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, Malcolm Archer explains: “With the clocks about to go back in the UK on Sunday, October 27, 2019 – the mechanisms of time-keeping come into our public consciousness. The world of Horology is a fascinating area to work in and we have alumni working as independent clockmakers and with national and international collections.”
He continues: “This short course at West Dean is aimed at beginner horologists, and appeals to those who like to use their hands and may be considering a practical career in engineering or similar but also have an interest in the arts, science and history. We have had students with a BTEC in engineering, for example, who come to gain their FdA at West Dean, which is awarded by the University of Sussex but it is also ideal for anyone with a practical interest in horology, who is looking to change their existing career.”
West Dean Horology Alumni Dale Sardeson, said: “I was training to be an accountant, but I wasn’t feeling inspired. It dawned on me that I needed to be more active, creative, I needed to work with my hands. During this time I began to develop the casual interest I had in horology into something more. My appreciation for mathematics and mechanisms combined with my love of craft and design found a perfect home in the world of clocks.”
He goes on to say: “I discovered the FdA at West Dean. Here was a programme that didn't expect me to come here with any knowledge. As long as I was willing to put the work in, I could achieve.”