Press Releases: Summer colours, Short Courses at West Dean College

Make the most of the summer on a creative Short Course at West Dean College. Your passion or interest can be transformed into a deep and creative learning experience, learning from inspirational tutors and practising professionals. Be inspired by the college's unique atmosphere and escape the everyday in the stunning surroundings of the historic house located within the South Downs. Students have access to the award-winning West Dean Gardens bursting with the vivid colours of summer. Short Courses run from one day up to the popular week-long Summer Schools (23 July to 12 August). The following Short Courses are suitable for all and beginners.

Discover the possibilities of glass bead design. Use a torch flame to create coloured beads and learn how to apply decorative effects such as frits, canes, stringers and dots. Making glass beads - an introduction with beadmaker Barbara Mason (6 - 8 May, £285, weekend).

Learn the technique of slab building in clay to make vessels, bowls and jugs. Create ceramic forms by joining slabs together and decorating with coloured slips ready for a bisque firing. Hand built ceramics with coloured slips with potter Jane Abbott (8 - 10 July, £239, weekend).

Enhance your skills in painting fine detail as you collect subject matter and make visual research to inspire your composition. Learn the dry brush technique expressing a myriad of colour, tone and texture. Investigate accenting and glazing to create depth and luminosity to your painting. Watercolour painting - flora and fauna of the Sussex Downs with fine watercolourist Suzanne Balchin (6 - 12 August, £682, Summer School).

Draw inspiration from botanical forms as you experiment with layers of colour, light and shade to create a finished stained glass panel. Be inspired by the award-winning West Dean Gardens to develop designs and then make samples exploring various techniques to capture the jewel-like quality of glass. Stained glass - exploring colour, light and line with Helen Robinson, an architectural stained glass artist (6 - 12 August, £767 Summer School).

Learn how to mix coloured clay and form patterned slabs to make platters, vessels, brooches and abstract sculptural forms. Inlaid colour clay with potter Jane Abbott (14 August, £125, one day).

Discover the alchemy of enamelling by first practising on copper then progress to simple silver jewellery. Learn how to translate colour and texture ideas and the techniques of using fine wires and metal leaf. Enamelling for beginners with artist and enameller Sheila R. McDonald (19 - 21 August, £248, weekend).

Examine the ways in which colour can express emotions, influence and alter mood and communicate ideas in your paintings. Develop a sound grasp of colour mixing, colour theory and an awareness of colour in all its contexts. Talkative colour with artist Maxine Relton (29 August - 1 September, £431, four days)


Wake up to beautiful views over the Sussex Downs. The bedrooms at West Dean College 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, to browse the digital brochure and to book a short course 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



  • 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 Officer, +44 (0)1243 818301


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ