Press Release: Top Ten creative short courses at West Dean College

West Dean College offers over 700 creative short courses from art and blacksmithing to textiles and woodworking, and to suit all levels from beginners to advanced. The Grade II* Listed College 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. During a stay students can explore the award-winning gardens, including the beautiful St. Roche's Arboretum offering breathtaking views of the surrounding Sussex Downs. The College's tutors are all experts in their field and courses are held in professional workshops.

The following Top Ten picks of short courses are suitable for beginners to advanced (cost includes coffee, home cooked lunch and tea). Accommodation is available in the College. The bedrooms are a mixture of contemporary and traditional styling from £102 per person sharing a twin room for a two night weekend.

Discover the secrets and advantages of photographing landscapes in winter. Be inspired and produce stunning images of West Dean Gardens and the South Downs. Digital landscape photography with Roy Matthews (NEW 13 - 15 November Weekend £232 Intermediate/Advanced).

Explore a pattern-based interpretation of the gardens through drawing from observation. Drawing in the garden - pattern and place with Rosie MacCurrach (NEW 20 - 22 November Weekend £222 Suitable for all).

Make a chair you want to sit in, whatever your level of woodworking experience, working with seasoned ash. Ladderback chair making with Phil Shipley (31 January - 5 February Five Days £544 Suitable for all).

Use throwing and turning techniques in porcelain and stoneware, as you explore the form and function of teapots and teaware with Tim Andrews. Throwing teapots and teaware (4 - 7 February Long Weekend £370 Intermediate).

Learn to produce beautiful hand marbled papers starting with Chinese inks to produce delicate papers before progressing to traditional marbling techniques. Making marbled papers with new tutor Louise Brockman (NEW 12 - 14 February Weekend £250 Beginners/Intermediate).

Discover the secrets of successional sowing for continual production. Learn tips on picking crops in ways that prolong the harvest and managing crops with less watering. Essential top tips for growing key fruit and vegetables with Charles Dowding (27 February One Day £110 Suitable for all).

Produce your own pair of coloured soft leather or suede moccasins and personalise with decoration, as you learn the basic skills. Leather shoe making - summer moccasins with Bernadette Hehenberger (20 - 23 March Three Days £340 Suitable for all).

Develop your own ideas and work on your own individual project whilst learning and extending your blacksmithing skills in the College forge. Creative blacksmithing projects with Andrew Smith (30 March - 3 April Four Days £513 Suitable for all).

Study the anatomy and form of tulips and reproduce their vivid colours and distinctive shapes while developing your skills in essential watercolour techniques. Painting luscious tulips in watercolours with Sandrine Maugy (22 - 24 April Weekend £233 Suitable for all).

Explore the application and effects of enamel on metal surfaces, including copper and silver, to make a simple piece of jewellery. Enamelling - exploring contemporary techniques with Jessica Turrell (24 - 27 April Three Days £340 Intermediate/Advanced).

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 +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.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • Journalists 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