Press Release: Make Time to Make! 300 New short courses from October to April launched at West Dean College

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is on a mission to get more of us tapping into our creativity with a new Make Time to Make campaign to launch a wide range of 300 short courses which have just been released online ( From October 2020 to April 2021, new courses include Crime Writing; Letterpress; Japanese woodblock printmaking and Painting on the iPad. There will also be a week in February (14-18) devoted to Sustainability titled RE-SEEN, that encourages participants to reclaim or reinvent through courses such as plastic-smithing and sustainable weaving aswell as re-using and recycling your exisiting paintings or print work, making sculpture from scrap metals and creating ceramics incorporating found objects.

The College offers an escape to recharge, get hands on with arts and craft skills and boost your wellbeing in the process. Set in the heart of the South Downs National Park, in a stunning location, the College’s rural setting makes it particularly attractive as more of us take the opportunity to reconnect with and discover the restorative power of the natural environment. Many of the courses use the surroundings for inspiration. 

The tutors are experts drawn from across the UK and there are several new tutors for the New Season. Many of the courses, are suitable for all levels and include painting and drawing; gardening; metalsmithing; ceramics; creative writing; textiles; sculpture; jewellery; woodworking and basketry. Prices start at £128.

New courses include Sustainable weaving with found and upcycled materials with Rita Parniczky (February 14-18/£519/ Suitable for all); Wild textiles – foraging and natural dyeing with Sarah Burns. (October 25–27/£299/ Beginners/Intermediate); Waste not – screenprinting and stitch to re-imagine found fabrics with Maxine Sutton (October 27–30/ £410/ Suitable for all) and An introduction to painting on the iPad with Roz Hall (October 30/ £128/ Beginners).

There’s a wide variety of new Painting and Art Textile courses ranging from Places, spaces and traces. Mixed media journals with Cas Holmes (December 6–11/ £622/ Intermediate/Advanced); Winter landscapes with Melanie Rose (January 19–22/ £396/ Intermediate/Advanced) – is one of several courses that allow students to celebrate the countryside in midwinter through walking, drawing and painting. Abstracting the landscape in acrylics with Geoff Hands (October 12-15/ £418/ Intermediate/Advanced) and Japanese ink painting with Talia LeHavi (November 22-27/ £659/ Suitable for all). Other interesting courses include Printed landscapes in lino and monotype with Mark Cazalet (December 6-11/ £624/ Suitable for all).

New Photography courses include Creative photography – twilight landscapes with Benjamin Graham (March 12-14/ £271/ Intermediate), while other courses include Digital Landscape Photography – autumn colour with Roy Matthews (October 30- November 1/ £271/ Intermediate/ Advanced) and Photogravure – Intaglio Printing from Photographic Images with Peter Moseley is a course that appeals to artists and photographers as it involves the wet darkroom technique (January 15-18/ £440/ Suitable for all).

Pottery and Ceramic courses always attract a lot of attention. Among the new courses are Throwing and turning – developing technique with Jo Taylor (February 23-26/ £424/ Intermediate) and Ceramics with found objects and natural materials with Elaine Bolt (February 14-18/ £546/ Beginners). Other courses include Slab built Ceramics – responding to place with Anna Lambert (January 31- February 5/ £684/ Suitable for All).

New Basketry courses for this season include Herringbone weave baskets with new tutor Sue Kirk (March 18–21/ long weekend/ £381/ Suitable for all) and two courses with Mary Crabb - Small scale twined baskets (November 11/ 1 day/ £136/ Beginners) and Textile basketry – bases, warps and borders (March 11, 1 day/ £136/ Intermediate).

Focussing on Books, Paper and Lettering will be Modern brush calligraphy – festive metallics with Kirsten Burke (November 17/ 1 day/ £143/ Suitable for all); Calligraphy – flourishing skills and techniques with Paul Antonio (February 18–21/ long weekend/ £381/Beginners) and Calligraphy – italic hand with Mary Noble (March 19–21/ weekend/ £260/ Suitable for all), as well as Introduction to letterpress with Tom Boulton (November 27–29/ weekend/ £296/ Beginners).

There are several new Creative Writing courses including a series of three weekend courses with Domenica De Rosa (Elly Griffiths) and Lesley Thomson, two of the country’s most successful crime fiction writers that will allow students to gain a Crime Writing Certificate. Elsewhere, Gain the confidence to write fiction with Rebecca Horsfall (February 19–21/ weekend/ £260/ Beginner/Intermediate); After the first draft – self-editing your novel with Laura Wilkinson. (March 27/ 1 day/ £128/ Beginner/Intermediate); Memoir writing with Ruth Brandt (November 13-15/ weekend/ £260 / Suitable for all); Writing for site responsive theatre with Sara Clifford (March 5–7/ weekend/ £260/Intermediate/Advanced) and Writing poetry and understanding the creative process with Robyn Bolam (March 19–21/ weekend/ £260/ Suitable for all).

Jesmonite jewellery with new tutor Haidée Drew is a new course (December 4-6/ weekend/ £280/ Suitable for all) as is Plastic smithing – creating jewellery with waste plastics with Bronwen Gwillim (February 14-18/ 4 day/ £528/ Suitable for all) and Moving metal – hammer forming for jewellers and silversmiths with Abigail Brown (February 19-22/ long weekend/ £404/ Suitable for all).

New Metalworking courses include Small-scale forged sculpture – blacksmithing with Cara Wassenberg (November 2-4/ 2 days/ £306/ Suitable for all); General silversmithing with an emphasis on traditional skills with new tutor Julian Stephens (January 15-17/ weekend/ £260/ Suitable for all) and An introduction to chasing and repoussé in copper with Bryony Knox (November 23-26/ 3 days/ £429/ Suitable for all).

The Woodworking and Furniture Making Courses offer the opportunity to learn key furniture making skills with sustainable timber and traditional making processes. Among the courses on offer are Furniture making – a Japanese-style wooden tray with Abdollah Nafisi (December 4-6/ £296/ Suitable for all) and Make a Windsor chair with Jason Mosseri (February 28 – March 5/ £744/ Suitable for all).

New Music courses include a Classical guitar weekend with Andrew Gough and Gary Ryan. (April 1-4/ long weekend/ £381/ Intermediate/Advanced) and there is also a weekend exploring the music of Brahms with Roy Stratford (January 29-31/ weekend/ £270/ Suitable for all).

Embracing West Dean’s Cultural Heritage is Surreal automata – weird and curious and moving sculptures with Stephen Guy (February 18-21/ £415/ Beginners/Intermediate).

To ensure a safe and welcoming campus, the College has put in place measures operating on a principle of the same as, or better than, national guidelines. This includes social distancing, self-opening doors, less students in workshops, and extensive cleaning and sanitising protocols to protect students and staff. For more details on Social Distancing and COVID-19 measures, please visit

For full details, plus information on accommodation, please visit Bookings can be made online or by calling +44 (0)1243 818300.

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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’.
  • West Dean College of Arts and Conservation has an international reputation and offers a wide selection of short courses a year, as well as part time and full time diploma and degree programmes to Masters level.
  • 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 all media enquiries please contact Rachel Aked:
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 07790 732448

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ