Press Release: Getting fired up, pottery and ceramics short courses at West Dean College

Pottery is seeing a big revival and West Dean College offers the chance to develop your skills and learn how to coil, hand build, sculpt and use glazes to complete your work. There is a course to suit all levels from beginners to advanced. Learn a new skill or immerse yourself in a favourite activity on one of the many courses on offer. One Day Taster Courses are an ideal way to explore a new skill. For a more in-depth experience choose from a wide range of courses that run for a weekend or a few days. Short course students can escape the everyday and enjoy a creative break this summer, and be inspired by the stunning countryside surrounding the college within the heart of the South Downs.

Discover how to make Japanese tableware as you learn some simple techniques to create rectangular dishes by Tebineri (coiling) and a tea bowl by Tamatsukuri (pinching). Introduction to Japanese pottery with ceramicist Rie Tsuruta (NEW 28 May One Day Beginners).

Build graceful animal sculptures using a range of materials. By exploring a variety of techniques and considering the anatomy of an animal, you will learn how to make your subject look natural, while gaining confidence in your skills. Animal sculpture - wire, scrim and paper clay with ceramics artist Felicity Lloyd-Coombes (22 - 27 May Five Days £599 Suitable for all).

Work on your own potter's wheel as you develop designs inspired by the ceramic collection at West Dean, and learn key techniques including how to prepare and work with clay. Throwing and turning for beginners with ceramicist and author Richard Miller (10 - 12 June Weekend £251).

Gain confidence and skills to throw larger pieces of work in porcelain. Explore methods including slapping the clay and pounding it out with the fist and more. Throwing large - exploring form in ceramics with RCA trained ceramicist Tanya Gomez (NEW 27 - 30 June Three Days £400 Intermediate).

Learn from Tim Andrews one of the featured experts on BBC Two's The Great Pottery Throw Down. Develop controlled and free throwing clay on the wheel. During the week make a number of pieces, and gain an understanding of the resist slip firing method in several exciting and dynamic raku firings. Clay Smoke, Fire - throwing and raku firing (NEW 23 - 29 July Summer School £767 Suitable for all).

Learn about the fascinating processes of tile making as you make a carved set of tiles. Explore other techniques including slip decoration, stencilling and inlaying with potter and tile maker Richard Miller. Tile making - carving, stencilling, inlaying (NEW 2 - 4 September Weekend £240 Suitable for all).


Treat a friend or family member with a gift voucher for £10, £25, £50 or £100, which can be used as full or part payment towards a short course. Email


Wake up to beautiful views over the Sussex Downs. 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