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Why not take a course this summer?

— June 2013

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Students on Bridget Woods' painting course in West Dean Gardens

Inspirational art and craft courses

In 2012 the team behind West Dean Gardens, Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain, won three awards for their work over the previous 25 years in the restoration of West Dean Gardens.   West Dean College sits in the middle of the Gardens and uses this landscape as a rich resource for its arts, craft and photography courses. 

Be inspired on the following courses over the Summer at West Dean.

Drawn to collage, 26–30 August

4-day course (ref: 4D4025), course fee £397, Intermediate/Advanced

Combine materials, drawing and painting to create dynamic imagery. Using sketches and drawings from West Dean’s landscape and house interior, you will make textures and images that are appropriate to the evolving subject and composition. You will be encouraged to use different combinations of media to fully explore the process of collage. With SUSIE HUNT

Chillies: capturing fiery colour/ shine in watercolour, 30 Aug–1 Sept

Weekend course (ref: WE4034), course fee £209, Suitable for all

Learn to observe chillies in terms of patterns of tonal value and colour to create paintings with depth and vibrancy. Step-by-step you are shown how to paint a three- dimensional image using highlights to emphasise colour and form completing a painting during the course. With ANNA KNIGHTS

Fruits and vegetables from West Dean’s orchards, 22–26 Sept

4-day course (ref: 4D4090), course fee £396, Suitable for all

Learn botanical watercolour painting techniques with fruits and focus on their special features to achieve a likeness. Explore colour mixing and the use of tone to create a three-dimensional effect as you complete at least one finished painting during the course. With SANDRINE MAUGY

For Craftsmen …

A West Dean pop-up book, 22–25 July

3-day course (ref: 3D3974), course fee £312, Suitable for all

Discover the magic behind the making of pop-up books as you make a pocket-sized book of the wonderful buildings, artefacts and gardens at West Dean. The book will be modelled on The Dwindling Party, a great 80s classic of the pop-up genre. You will learn to prepare the artwork, then fold, cut and assemble your own book. With PAUL JOHNSON

Greenwood spoon and bowl making, 27 July – 2 August

Week-long Summer School (ref: SS3979), £656 (incl all dinners) Suitable for all

This course offers a complete guide to the making process of carving spoons and small bowls from greenwood. A range of traditional wood carving tools will be used and plenty of one-to-one teaching will allow you to learn the skills at your own pace. Having grasped the basics of spoon carving, you can go on to make further spoons, exploring different woods (some sourced from West Dean Gardens!) or carve a bowl depending on your interests. With NIC WEBB

For Photographers

Gardens photography – close-ups and vistas, 26–29 September

Long-weekend course (ref: LW4098), course fee £310, Intermediate

Learn and practice the art of producing high-quality, well-composed garden images using a digital SLR or advanced compact camera. Learn about the aesthetics of how to compose images in-camera and become aware of how different lighting conditions can influence and enhance your images. The aim is to achieve stunning vistas and close-up images of gardens and plants without the need for post-image manipulation. With JACQUI HURST

More about West Dean

All West Dean courses are taught by practicing professionals, many of whom are world renowned in their field. The workshops and facilities at West Dean are second to none and the stunning house itself and delicious home cooked food will add to your experience. All prices quoted are for the course fee.  Accommodation is available at the College from £93 for a weekend course, £146 for a long-weekend or 3-day course, £199 for a 4-day course, £252 for a 5-day course and £240 for a Summer School. Take advantage of West Dean’s stunning natural setting in the South Downs National Park and its vibrant cultural setting near Chichester, extend your stay from £70 per night. For further information, to request a brochure or to book a place, please visit,

e-mail [email protected] or call 0844 4994408. 

SPECIAL OFFERS!  Save 5% on all courses booked online (prices already adjusted).

If you are new to West Dean you are entitled to a 10% discount on the cost of course fees (telephone bookings only).

The College runs over 700 short courses in arts, crafts, gardening, creative writing, food and music each year as well as postgraduate programmes in visual arts, conservation and making and creative writing.

The Gardens are open from 1 February – 23 December.

Over 40 events a years include four large outdoor weekend events: Fusion – a weekend of creativity, 22 & 23 June, Chilli Fiesta, 9,10 and 11 August, Grow! Cook! Eat!, 5 & 6 October, Winter Wonderland, 14 & 15 December.

West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and six miles south of Midhurst.  For more information about the area go to

The Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust comprises the West Dean College, West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.

West Dean College

Near Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ



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