Press Release: Have a handmade Christmas - Gift and decoration ideas at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

Forget consumption culture - learn to make unique gifts and decorations this Christmas

Its never too early to start thinking about Christmas and with West Dean College of Arts and Conservation’s recent launch of more than 180 short courses taking place from October to December 2021, you have plenty of time to choose from a wide variety of short courses for all abilities (ranging from one to four days) to make a one-off Christmas decoration or gift for a special person in your life. Avoid last minute panic buying and learn the skills to make your own unique gifts that can be personalised and treasured for years to come.

For a creative friend or family member you can also buy Gift Vouchers or even a place on a course so they could start 2022 with their own creative experience. There is a vast array of courses to choose from every year ranging from millinery to blacksmithing, through to painting, basket making and gardening. In addition, gift vouchers of £10, £25, £50 or £100 can be purchased online which can be used for full or part payment of a Short Course giving more flexibility to choose their perfect course, at a time that suits them.

Five courses to make your own Christmas decorations

· November 12 - A botanical Christmas card in pen and watercolour with Sandrine Maugy (Beginners/ £148)
· December 5 - Sewn angel pictures and decorations with Janet Bolton (Beginners/ £130)
· December 7 - Silver Christmas themed earrings with Sarah Macrae (Beginners/ £150)
· December 14 - Make coloured glass Christmas decorations with Carole Gray (Suitable for all/ £158)
· December 16 - Contemporary Christmas decorations from foraged materials with Annie Guilfoyle (Beginners/Intermediate/ £163)

Five courses to create a unique handcrafted gift

· October 1-3 - Slip decorated dishes with Jo Taylor (Beginners/ £289)
· October 8-10 - Glass spoons with Katrina Beattie (Suitable for all/ £311)
· October 12 - Precious metal clay – earrings or brooch with Christina Hirst (Beginners/ £153)
· October 21-24 - Woodcarving – natural forms with Alex Jones (Beginners/Intermediate/ £394)
· November 5-7 Introduction to stone carving with Paula Haughney (Beginners/ £260)

Other short courses available at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation include: textiles; metalsmithing; painting and drawing; creative writing; sculpture; woodworking and basketry. They span from one to five days and range in price from £128 upwards. The College is the perfect place to escape and recharge before the busy Christmas season and get hands on with arts and craft skills while boosting 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.

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, and extensive cleaning and sanitising protocols to protect students and staff. More details on Social Distancing and COVID-19 measures, can be found here.

Bookings can be made online or by calling +44 (0)1243 818300.

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation can be found on Social Media: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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

For all media enquiries please contact: Rachel Aked

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 07790 732448