Press Release: Cosy, creative winter weekend breaks

Escape the cold winter days and spend a weekend on a creative short course at the internationally renowned West Dean College. Enrich your life through making and creating and draw or paint outdoors in the brisk winter air or take time to learn the art of hand weaving or book binding. There are over 700 short courses annually to choose from. Relax and unwind in the unique creative atmosphere of the country historic house. Make the weekend even more special by taking the residential option on a Bed and Breakfast basis and wake up to beautiful views over the Sussex Downs. Rates start from £112 per person on a short course for two nights, twin occupancy.

Be inspired and guided by the tutors who are all expert artists and makers with impressive reputations. Learn practical techniques in fully-equipped studios and workshops.

Learn the basic techniques or improve your skills and receive expert tuition in the techniques of cloisonné, champlevé and plique-à-jour, and the use of foils. Enamelling on silver with Joan Mackarell, artist enameller (3 - 6 November, £329, suitable for all).

Become familiar with the basic skills of the blacksmith to develop your designs and make successful objects using mild steel. Basic blacksmithing in the college's forge with Andrew Smith, blacksmith, metalworker and sculptor (16 - 18 December, £271, beginners).

Learn the basics of oils and discover how to structure works and develop light effects, mix colours, build layers, create tone and develop 'impasto' to create texture and finish with glazing. Oil painting for beginners with John T Freeman (9 - 11 December, £233).

Create a life size portrait head and aim to capture the sitter's essence through sensitive observation of two models. Hollow out your second head for firing and receive advice on mounting and finishing techniques. Portrait heads in terracotta - a visual approach (6 - 9 January, £373, suitable for all).

Cut and manipulate sheet metal to make jewellery, tableware or purely abstract forms. Develop ideas through paper models before translating them into coper, brass or sterling silver. Silversmithing - cut, bend, form with designer metalsmith, Ane Christensen (24 - 26 February, £225, suitable for all).

Learn about composition, measuring and creating perspective, proportion, scale and tone in drawing. Work within the award-winning West Dean Gardens to create several sketches leading to developed studies. A drawing workshop with John T Freeman (23 - 26 March, £348, long weekend, beginners).

To browse the short course digital brochure and to book online visit

Special Offer

First time bookings are entitled to a 10% discount on the cost of course fees (telephone bookings only) +44 (0)1243 818300.


Notes to editors

  • West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

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Media Contact Information

For further information, high-resolution digital images of filming opportunities contact

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Officer, +44 (0)1243 811301


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ