Press Release: Take a creative weekend break on a West Dean College Short Course

West Dean College has everything you could ask for a winter retreat including a wide range of weekend creative short courses to suit all levels from beginners to advanced. Set within a Grade II* Listed country house, the College offers bed and breakfast accommodation for residential students (non-residential are also welcome). During your stay you can also explore the award-winning gardens where you can take a walk through the beautiful St. Roche's Arboretum to enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding Sussex Downs. West Dean is the perfect place to treat yourself and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life while learning something new or improving existing creative skills.

The following weekend courses are all suitable for beginners.

Learn to draw in a weekend as you cover the basics - measuring for perspective, scale, tone and composition and you create several pencil sketches. Drawing for beginners with John T Freeman (6 - 8 November £237).

Working with still life, learn techniques of measurement, composition, colour, surfaces and form. Beginners' pastels with Oliver Jones (27 - 29 November £231).

Using mild steel become familiar with the basic skills of the blacksmith to develop your designs and make successful objects with Andrew Smith. Basic blacksmithing (18 - 20 December £268).

Louise Taylor will show you how to prepare and work with clay as you work on your own potter's wheel to develop your design inspired but the ceramic collection at West Dean. Throwing and turning for beginners (8 - 10 January £251).

Discover the possibilities of glass bead design. Use a torch flame to crate coloured beads and learn to apply decorative effects such as frits, canes, stringers, dots and metal leaf. Making glass beads - an introduction with Barbara Mason (22 - 25 January £415).

Learn woven tapestry techniques for shaping, shading and weaving diagonals while you gain experience and understanding of this medium to make a simple panel. Tapestry weaving for beginners with Caron Penney (5 - 7 February £226).

In Basic woodworking skills - step-up stool project, tutor Mark Cass will teach you the techniques and skills needed for each stage of the project. You will gain confidence in using workshop tools and equipment as you measure, cut out, assemble and finish a practical and attractive stool (19 - 21 February £267).

Learn and master the basic weaves for making willow baskets. Gain practical experience of all processes as you make two simple round baskets. Willow basketmaking for beginners with Mary Butcher (11 - 13 March £232)

Daphne Krinos will teach you the techniques of piercing, shaping, filing, hammering, soldering and finishing as you make a simple silver ring, then explore surface decoration with a second piece of jewellery. Jewellery for complete beginners using silver and other materials (4 - 6 March £222).

Learn the art of stained glass as you design and create your own 25cm square glass panel in a weekend. Stained glass for beginners with Carole Gray (22 - 24 April £232).

Develop machine embroidery skills and make a picture or stitched piece. Working from your own reference material, explore the numerous techniques and textures that can be created with colour, threads and stitch. Pictures in free machinery embroidery with Linda Miller (8 - 10 April Suitable for all £222).


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 sharing a twin room for two nights.

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)2143 818300).

Notes to editors

  • West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation which also comprises West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • West Dean College offers over 700 creative short courses and is internationally renowned for teaching in Conservation and Creative Arts.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • Any journalist interested in visiting the Gardens, attending a course or an event for news or review purposes or filming at West Dean should contact the Media Relations Team.
  • 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 and high-resolution digital images, please contact

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


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ