Press Release: Book a creative holiday, visual arts and craft Summer Schools at West Dean College

If you have not yet made your summer holiday plans how about a week creating jewellery incorporating shells or capturing the colours of summer in glass making? Take a look at the late availability opportunities for the arts and craft Summer Schools at West Dean College. The three separate week-long courses allow time for students to experience a broad range of creative insights and to develop new skills in depth with professional tutors. Learn from the experts and exchange ideas, insights and experiences. Relax in the beautiful surroundings at the heart of the Sussex Downs and enjoy the unique atmosphere at West Dean this summer. The courses shown here are suitable for all levels.

"Wonderful course, great teaching and demonstrations with individual support and advice always provided. It's a great leisure break and a chance to develop your skills". Viv Goodridge, Summer School 2015.

Week One (23 - 29 July)

Explore fibre art and basketry with Tim Johnson, artist and basketmaker. The course covers sourcing and harvesting plant fibres and the introduction of traditional and experimental methods of making string and cordage for use with basketry looping, twining and braiding. Spend the week developing your skills to make sculptural or woven objects. (£712).

Develop your jewellery making skills and learn new techniques. Studio jeweller, Sarah Macrae, will encourage you to incorporate a range of materials in your projects, including exotic hardwoods, shells and found objects. Create your own jewellery - an individual approach (£682).

Week Two (30 July - 5 August)

Explore drawing at its most experimental by learning exciting mark-making techniques and innovative use of materials. Outcomes will include sculpture, large-scale pieces, artist books and drawings as you push the boundaries. Experimental drawing with Freya Pocklington (£696).

Learn how to make vibrant woodcuts with the emphasis on cutting techniques and inking. Print by hand and with a press, using a range of woods and papers. Be inspired by the award-winning gardens and Grade II* Listed house to create unique prints. Woodcut printing inspired by West Dean with wood-block maker and author, Rod Nelson.

Week Three (6 - 12 August)

Draw inspiration from botanical forms as you experiment with layers of colours, light and shade to create a finished stained glass panel. Be inspired by the award-winning West Dean Gardens as you develop designs and skills to capture the jewel-like quality of glass. Stained glass - exploring colour, light and line with architectural stained glass artist, Helen Robinson (£767).

If you enjoy working with simple mechanisms and a range of materials, design and make your own moving toys and automata. Explore materials including wood, string, plastic, driftwood and other reclaimed or recycled objects. Be inspired by the tutor's collection of moving toys from around the world and develop your ideas to see at least one of your designs through to completion. Make automata and moving toys with Robert Race (£732).

During the week students can enjoy short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work, swap-over sessions to another course of choice, an afternoon of organised visits to local art venues, an optional evening at the Chichester Festival Theatre (to be prebooked), a Summer School party with dinner, entertainment and music, workshop displays of students' work and informal end-of-course group reviews. Course attendees during 5-7 August can also enjoy the award-winning Chilli Fiesta which takes place in the grounds.


Wake up to beautiful views over the Sussex Downs in the stately splendour of a country mansion. The bedrooms are a mixture of contemporary and traditional styling. From £55 per person per night (standard twin occupancy) for a one week course. From £282 twin occupancy).


To browse the digital brochure, check late availability and to book online visit For more information on Summer Schools e-mail [email protected] or call 0844 4994408.


Notes to editors

  • 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 copyright free 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.

Media Contact Information

For further information, high-resolution digital images of filming opportunities, please contact

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Relations Officer, +44 (0)1243 818301


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ