Press Release: Give your mum a creative gift this Mother’s Day, short courses at West Dean College

Treat your mum to a very special gift this Mother's Day with a creative one day taster course in the beautiful historic West Dean House, home to the highly acclaimed West Dean College. Taster courses offer the opportunity to explore a new art or craft skill or immerse yourself in a favourite activity for a special day away from the hustle and bustle of everyday living. Better still why not join your mum on a course and enjoy a day of creativity together.

Students can enjoy a relaxing stroll around the award-winning gardens during break times. Choose from around 50 one day courses, all suitable for beginners from pottery to painting and gardening to glass making.

Create modern, stylish hand-tied arrangements while learning how to select suitable flowers and foliage, and how to look after and store them successfully. Learn two different methods for a variety of designs for gifts, vase arrangements or for a special occasion. Hand tied bouquets and posies with florist Sue Hingston (1 April, £146, beginners/intermediate).

Discover the basic skills of throwing on the potter's wheel. Potter and ceramicist, Jo Davies, specialises in wheel-thrown, functional and non-functional objects in porcelain. She is a member of the Craft Potters' Association and a regular contributor to Ceramic Review Magazine. Throwing pots (18 April, £125, beginners).

Learn how to set pebbles into mortar and create two sample panels to either decorate your garden or develop into your own garden path design. Pebble mosaic making with mosaic artist Hilary Shand (20 April, £126, beginners).

Learn basic enamelling techniques and make a pair of simple drop earrings with Sheila R McDonald, artist, enameller and jeweller. Enamel silver earrings (1 May, £128, beginners).

Get instant results and glorious colours with a heat press (or regular iron). Print flat colour onto manmade fabrics and leather to create exciting surfaces for textiles or jewellery. Printing colour on fabric - simple heat transfer techniques with Carole Waller, fine art textile artist (NEW 20 May, £121, beginners)

Make a 20cm square traditional stained glass panel in a simple abstract design as you learn to cut and assemble with lead and solder. Stained glass with Carole Grey, stained glass artist (31 May, £142, beginners).


If you are not sure which course would suit your mum buy her a gift voucher for £10, £25, £50 or £100, which can be used as full or part payment towards a short course. Email bookings [email protected].


For more information about Short Courses at West Dean and to browse the latest courses visit First time bookings receive a 10% discount (telephone bookings only call +44 (0)1243 818300).


Notes to editors

  • West Dean Arts and Craft Festival (2 - 4 June) promises an outstanding showcase of arts and craft activities to engage a wide audience, taking the former Design and Craft Fair (which attracted 5,000 visitors last year) to an exciting new level.
  • The college offers over 700 Short Courses every year to suit all levels of ability, from one day to the popular week-long Summer Schools.
  • 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 free to use for editorial purposes.

Media Contact Information

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

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Officer, +44 (0)1243 811301


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ