A crafty weekend

How would you like to meet around 100 contemporary designer makers in person? Talk to the people who create beautiful and unique items by hand about their inspiration, the materials they source and choose for their work and the techniques and skills involved. Shop for those one-off pieces for your home or as gifts (or as a treat for yourself pourquoi pas?). The highly successful Design and Craft Fair at West Dean College returns for its third year.

Find textiles, silverware, jewellery, original prints, ceramics, fashion accessories, wood and more beautiful items in The Marketplace, curated by the successful team behind MADE LONDON Bloomsbury and Marylebone. NEW this year is a printmaking area presenting original prints to buy. Take a peek at the exhibitor's gallery online.

Go one step further and try your hand at a creative skill in a mini workshop run by the college's expert short course tutors. How about throwing a pot on a potter's wheel or making a textured silver ring? Or have a go at watercolour painting or weaving a basket. The relaxing one and a half hour sessions run throughout the weekend and they are pretty popular, so it's a good idea to book in advance online to make sure of your place.

The Grade II* Listed college is the former home of Edward James, poet and lifelong patron of the Surrealist Movement. The historic country mansion makes the perfect backdrop to the fair which is set partly in the stunning award-winning gardens.

Enjoy a seriously relaxing and enjoyable day out in a unique setting.


Mini workshops

Artist, Rod Nelson, is part of Pine Feroda the collective name used by five artists working together in the South West of England to make large scale, dramatic woodblock prints. Rod will be running print workshops where you can learn how to create a beautiful black and white woodcut print using traditional methods (Make a small woodcut print Friday 3 June 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm).

Watch a fascinating video of Pine Ferroda and the art of woodcut prints.

Children's workshops

Friday 3, Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 June

11.00 - 12.00, 13.00 - 14.00, 15.00 - 16.00

  • Moving lobster puppet workshop
  • Handbuild a clay totem
  • Design a stained glass window

Save 20%

Book tickets noline now and save 20%. Early bird tickets £8 Adult. Children under 16 free entry to event. Offer ends Thursday 26 May. (Gate price £10).

Creative Hub

Over the weekend there are FREE talks and demos (event entry ticket required only). No need to book just rock up.

For instance, discover how the West Dean Tapestry Studio weavers work with artists to translate their images into tapestry. Philip Sanderson, Master Weaver and Associate Tutor on the college's Visual Arts programme will talk about studio projects including Black Cat and Rose Virgin with artist Tracey Emin and Play with British Designer Faye Toogood. Sanderson's work No. 13 Thrust Block Shoe was shortlisted for The Cordis Prize for Tapestry this year and The John Ruskin Prize for Nowhere.

Sky Blue Pink: artists and weavers at West Dean Tapestry Studio by Philip Sanderson (Friday 3 June 2pm). View full Creative Hub programme.

The bees are buzzing… summer time in the gardens

Pop into the Vintage Team Room on the lawns and soak up the atmosphere of the historic gardens. This year celebrates 25 Years of Glorious Gardening by head gardeners, husband and wife team, Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain. Exceptional features include; a 300-foot Edwardian pergola, draped in wisteria and clematis during the summer months; a Sunken Garden; and a walled kitchen garden. This is a seriously relaxing, very beautiful spot where you can enjoy the timeless atmosphere of the English countryside on a summer's day. Access to the gardens is included in the event entry ticket price.