Press Release: Visitors flock to West Dean College’s Design and Craft Fair this weekend

This weekend visitors flocked to West Dean College's Design and Craft Fair. The event showcases the very best the College has to offer. The 95 creative taster workshops run by West Dean's expert tutors were full throughout the three days. Visitors were able to enjoy learning a new craft and take away their own unique piece of art or craft from textiles to pottery, jewellery to willow work and more. Younger visitors were able to make their own art too in special children's craft workshops. The programme of free talks and demonstrations in the Creative Hub proved extremely popular, including Joanna Moorhead who talked about her father's cousin, artist Leonora Carrington, in Looking for Leonora - West Dean and its surreal connections. Dr David Stent, Visual Arts Programme Leader at the College talked about both the famous and lesser-known projects of the College's founder Edward James in The Unrealised Edward James. "A perfect day out - thank you!" said Katie Griffiths, who was there with her husband and children. "My nine year old children Cissy and Alf really enjoyed the children's workshops".

Visitors were able to browse the 100 innovative and contemporary makers and designers, curated by the successful team behind MADE London and MADE Brighton, and carefully selected to show and sell their work in 'The Marketplace' at the event.

"Many visitors were new to West Dean College and we were delighted to welcome people of all ages," says Alison Baxter, Head of Creative Enterprise. "Now that they have had a taste of what the College can offer, we hope to welcome many of them back on a short course".

Tickets to the Design and Craft Fair included free entry to the award-winning West Dean Gardens. Visitors enjoyed the chance to take a walking tour of the 'Crystal Palaces' with Laura Hughes, the gardener responsible for the Victorian glasshouses. The vintage tea room on the lawns offered afternoon cream teas where visitors could relax and enjoy the beautiful landscape.


Notes to editors

  • West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • The College runs over 700 short courses in arts, crafts, gardening, creative writing and music each year as well as postgraduate programmes in Creative Arts and Conservation. For more information visit
  • The award winning Gardens are open from 1 February - 20 December with special event days throughout the year; 20th Anniversary Chilli Fiesta (7 - 9 August), Half Term Halloween activities (26 - 31 October) and Father Christmas visits (12 & 13 and 19 & 20 December).
  • For more information on MADE visit
  • Media accreditation for Chilli Fiesta is now open. Please contact the Media Relations Team for more information.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • West Dean College and Gardens are situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

Media contact information

For media accreditation or high-resolution digital images, please contact:

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


West Dean College and Gardens, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ


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