Press Release: Discover your creativity with West Dean’s new 2024 short courses

Pottery to printmaking, basketry to blacksmithing, glasswork to gardening, whether you want to embark on a new creative pursuit, refine your technique, or learn a lost craft, West Dean has a course for you. The new programme of short courses running February to August 2024 offers a diverse range of creative escapes, artistic courses and heritage skills. Find out more about all the courses available and book at

Do you have a passion for painting? Or a desire to draw? The exclusive pop-up short course programme offers courses with a variety of different techniques, styles and materials. From self-portraiture to observational painting, mark-making to ink experimentation, and printmaking – there's a course tailored just for you. Have a go at Charcoal Drawing (8 April 2024), try Watercolour Painting for Beginners (16-18 June 2024) or make the most of the spectacular scenery with Watercolour Painting ‘En Plein Air’ (26 July - 1 August 2024). Working in the expansive College grounds you will be guided through techniques, shown how to use composition to create focus and drama, and how the narrative of the painting can draw the viewer in.

Get hands-on with our creative craft and textile courses, delving into the worlds of basketry, beading, leatherwork, and embroidery. These courses offer a unique opportunity to engage in a hands-on creative experience, honing your skills under the guidance of expert tutors in state-of-the-art studios. Step back and enjoy the meditative process of willow weaving in the Weave a Willow Hare course (3 July 2024), get to grips with moulding, shaping, and throwing clay in a Porcelain for Beginners course (22-25 August) as you create your own unique pieces inspired by historical dining vessels, or embrace the textures and tones of natural materials as you learn how to carve A Butterfly in Limewood (22-23 June 2024). West Dean offers a unique opportunity to express your creativity in an inspirational setting, nestled in the natural beauty of the South Downs.

If you are looking for something a little different why not learn a traditional craft! Heritage crafts have stood the test of time and West Dean’s courses offer a unique hands-on experience that allows participants to immerse themselves in the rich tradition and history of these time-honoured practices. Try the Creative Blacksmithing: Ideas, Design and Techniques course (30 May-2 June 2024) which will introduce you to different blacksmithing techniques to form hot steel and produce your own finished piece. Take inspiration from West Dean, it’s unique landscape and buildings, and create your own Stained Glass (9-15 August 2024). You will learn all the techniques needed to make a stained glass panel, explore the use of decorative sandblasting and come away with your very own stained glass panel.

All West Dean’s courses not only provide technical expertise but also encourage a spirit of experimentation, self-expression and the chance to engage with like-minded individuals. Share your passion or simply have a go in a welcoming and inspiring environment, it’s the perfect place to try a creative course, learn a new skill or develop your creative techniques!

Find out more about all West Deans courses at or by calling 01243 818300.

Note to editors

About West Dean:

Located in the picturesque South Downs National Park, West Dean is an internationally recognized institution for arts, conservation, and creative education. With a rich heritage and stunning surroundings, it offers a unique environment for learning and creativity.

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.


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Address: West Dean, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0QZ.

Contact Kathryn Follis

Marketing Manager, West Dean

Email: [email protected]