Press Release: West Dean College of Arts & Conservation Announces New Short Courses For Autumn/Winter

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation announces a series of new short courses for Autumn/Winter 2018/2019 for anyone with a desire to unlock their creative potential. There are 400 inspiring courses to choose from, from popular crafts such as pottery, furniture-making and painting, to jewellery, gardening and photography courses that capture the autumn season with prize-winning tutors. Short Courses provide an enriching experience for people of all abilities, from complete beginner to accomplished practitioner. In the beautiful surroundings of the West Sussex countryside, students can create, craft and grow under the tuition of experts in their fields.

Among the 109 brand new courses announced is 'Photographing Autumn berries and fruits' (5-7 October 2018) where students are taught to hone their photographic skills in the walled garden and orchard at West Dean Gardens. They will practice the art of producing well-composed images, and explore how an awareness of natural light influences your close-up and still life shots. This course will be taught by Jacqui Hurst, who specialises in photographing gardens, applied art and regional food producers.

'Writing skills - character and perspective' from 16-18 November teaches students to create convincing and engaging characters, whilst understanding the power of perspective and how to use it effectively to write compelling fiction. Tutor Bethan Roberts has won multiple awards for her novels and has written drama for BBC Radio 4, as well as teaching creative writing to university students.

Textile courses remain ever popular and this season include the new 'Millinery - make a felt cloche hat' (October weekend 26-28) by Victoria Brown, who worked with designer Jean Muir. Students can spend a long weekend learning 'Japanese Atarashi patchwork and quilting' (March 7-10, 2019), among a host of textile courses spanning embroidery, quilting, pattern-cutting, leatherwork and stitched paper sculptures.

Gardening courses include a new course by one of the country's leading plantswomen, Derry Watkins, teaching 'Sowing and growing your garden' (March 30, 2019). Or for an autumn day of growing expertise, Tom Brown, Parham Head Gardener, broadcaster and writer teaches Grow your own fruit and vegetables - autumn (October 20). In just one day you can bring the beauty of an outdoor garden Indoors with Terrarium, Kokedama and macramé plant hanger - house plant styling workshop (March 23) - image below.

There will be a Mexican themed week (21-25 October 2018) run by tutors who either live in Mexico or whose work is inspired by the country. This will include silk painting, ceramics, concrete casting, garment making and a number of other colourful courses, bound to life your spirits and leave you feeling culturally enriched. Edward James' lasting legacy (in addition to founding the college) was an extraordinary tropical idyll he built in Mexico, hence the inspiration for West Dean College's themed week.

Other new course highlights include 'Spoon Carving' (11 December 2018); 'Relief sculpture- female torso in clay' (14-16 December 2018); 'Drawing Birds- all media' (4 - 6 January 2019); 'An introduction to leatherwork' (21 -25 January 2019) and 'Painting with oils for beginners' (26 January 2019).

48 taster days are on offer and key themes include Christmas, birds, gilding and metalworking. Short courses range from one to seven days and vary in price, starting at £55.

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation has the unique advantage of being set within the breath-taking South Downs National Park, allowing participants of the Short Courses to enjoy an unrivalled learning environment, and with the opportunity to stay in historic West Dean House, home to the College, and enjoy the rich autumn colour of the glorious gardens.

Edward James, the Surrealist patron and poet, founded the College, ensuring his beautiful house and estate in West Sussex would support crafts education for future generations. The Autumn/Winter Short Courses at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation mark the continuation of this legacy.

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Notes To Editors

• West Dean College of Arts and Conservation was founded in 1971 by the poet and Surrealist patron, Edward James, recognised by BBC Arts as the 'the greatest patron of art of the early 20th century'.
• The College is part of The Edward James Foundation (Charity No. 1126084), also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and West Dean Tapestry Studio.
• 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.
For press opportunities, contact:

Annie McGrath Golden²
Consulting 10-11 Lower John Street London,
+44 (0)207 439 2822


West Dean College of Arts and Conservation in Autumn
Jen Berry Terrarium
Humberto Spindola - Sculptural paper artworks, Mexican week short course
Jake Spicer- Life Drawing Short Course
Peter Codling- Dust to Dust, Drawing short course
The sustainable container- baskets from willow with Mary Butcher