Press Release: Five ways to get creative this summer, short courses at West Dean College

Now is the time to plan your creative summer and escape to West Dean College for a day or a weekend, or come on a Visual Arts and Crafts Summer School. Give yourself a real treat, come on your own and make new friends or bring family or friends with you, and learn a new skill. The college offers over 700 short courses each year, including 70 NEW courses for summer, with something to suit all levels and interests from jewellery making to sewing and basketmaking to pottery. One day taster courses are a great way to try something new and if you have more time to spare book yourself on the Summer Schools (July/August). To get you started here are five of our favourites, all suitable for beginners, from the latest brochure now available on line at

Sketching across the South Downs with artist Maxine Relton. Learn how to frame strong composition, connect with the land and distil your immediate responses to develop a personal drawing style (23 - 27 May Four Days £430).

Grow your own fruit and vegetables - summer with horticulturist, broadcaster and designer Rosie Yeomans. Learn about watering, training, weeding, summer pruning, pest and disease identification and control, and harvesting. (18 June One day £130).

Exploring colour and transparency in felt making with textile artist Jeanette Appleton. Be amazed by the shrinking nature of wool to transform fabrics and explore the qualities of colour within fibres and how this can affect transparent coloured fabrics. (7 - 10 July Long Weekend £325).

Creative handbuilt ceramics with coloured clay. Learn a range of building methods including slabbing, coiling and the use of simple moulds before progressing to work on more complex forms with ceramicist and author Jo Connell. (NEW Summer School 30 July - 5 August £762).

Stone carving - Hepworth hoops and Moorish bumps. MA trained stone carver, Simon Keeley, will teach you how to transfer sketch ideas through models into larger scale sculptures and discover a variety of carving techniques (1 - 4 September Long Weekend £325).

Visual Arts & Crafts Summer Schools 2016

West Dean College Summer Schools (Week One 26 July to 1August, Week Two 2 - 8 August, Week Three 9 - 15 August) are a little different to courses at other times of the year and special features include:

  • Short inspirational talks by tutors.
  • A swap-over session to another course of your choice.
  • An afternoon or organised visits to local art venues.
  • A special party with dinner, entertainment and music.
  • An optional evening at the Chichester Festival Theatre (prebooked).
  • 17 NEW courses over the three weeks.


Wake up to beautiful views over the Sussex Downs in the stately splendour of a country mansion. The bedrooms are a mixture of contemporary and traditional styling. From £102 per person for 2 nights (twin occupancy).


For more information about Short Courses at West Dean and to browse the digital brochure visit First time bookings receive a 10% discount (telephone bookings only call +44 (0)1243 818300).

If you are passionate about the creative arts and conservation join the vibrant community and enjoy all West Dean has to offer by becoming a Friend of the college. To find out more visit

Notes to editors

  • West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust, also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and the 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, please contact

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Relations Officer, +44 (0)1243 818301


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ