Festival

West Dean Arts and Craft Festival

Be inspired by an outstanding showcase of arts and craft. Enjoy the theatre of live demonstrations, get hands-on in taster workshops, drop in and have-a-go on the craft hut trail, and shop with MADE from 120 superb makers and designers. Tap into the College's rich history of arts and craft as you discover works from the collection and enjoy tours, talks and screenings inside West Dean House.

What's on?

  • Arts and craft demonstrations
  • Live artist talks and performances
  • 120 stallholders to browse and buy from
  • Printmakers show
  • Tours and talks inside the historic West Dean House
  • Hands-on workshops (additional charge)
  • Creative writing talks, readings and bookstall
  • Garden tours
  • Grass maze
  • Hut trail - drop in and join in crafts
  • Micro exhibitions
  • Food and drink

Hands-on Workshops

Have a go and try out a new skill in a hands-on workshop and make something to take home. Workshops are 1 ½ hours and are a small additional charge. Places are limited so advance booking is recommended.

Please note: covered footwear is required when taking the following workshops, Mosaics, Woodcarving and Stonecarving.

Workshops are now bookable online when you purchase a ticket:

View the hands-on workshops timetable

Discover the children's workshops

Demonstrations

See blacksmithing, metalwork, millinery, textiles, tapestry, painting and more as skilled makers demonstrate their crafts. Chat to the craftspeople about their techniques, buy their handmade work or simply enjoy watching them in action.

Talks and Live Arts and Crafts

Be amazed by live arts performances and talks by emerging artists and West Dean graduates. Whether you choose to watch or participate, you're guaranteed to be entertained. There will also be inspiring talks by West Dean tutors, on their own practice, residencies, commissions or on West Dean College founder Edward James, our Archive and more.
Dr Hope Wolf, Curator of Sussex Modernism exhbition will be talking about Surreal Sussex and Matthew Read, Horologist and Conservation of Clocks programme tutor at West Dean College, brings to life the fascinating history of the Bowes Museum's Silver Swan.

Photo Credit: Claire Collinson, The Silver Swan, The Bowes Museum.

Shopping

Browse and buy unique pieces from 120 makers and designers. Once again, we've teamed up with MADE, (of the Brighton Art Fair and MADE London) to bring you the very best in quality and design. You can also explore the dedicated printmakers show for exclusive prints and artworks.

View the exhibitors gallery

House Opening

Explore the historic state rooms and view the surrealist works of art on display as you follow a self-guided route through the Edwardian house. Alongside the historic collection see installations from our Visual Arts and Conservation students and discover the secrets of the archives.

Hut trail

Drop in to the huts and follies throughout the gardens and try out a range of crafts from knitting, sewing, gardening and more. Chose to watch or join-in before going to find the next one. Look out for the grass maze.

View the festival hut trail map

Gallery

Stone carving workshop with Paula Haughney
Make a bling ring with Sarah Drew
A creative day out set against the historic West Dean College
Art and Craft workshops
Modelling flowers and seedpods with Frances Doherty.
Shopping at the Arts and Crafts Festival
Printmaking workshops at the Arts and Craft Festival
Shopping at the Arts and Craft Festival
Marble Hall West Dean College
West Dean Arts and Craft Festival
West Dean College, The Oak Hall
Make a ceramic mobiles with short course tutor Jane Abbott,