You may or may not have noticed, but crafts of all kinds are making a comeback. People the length and breadth of the country are turning to them as an activity to be learned, improved upon and enjoyed. But where to start?  There are so many craft-skills to choose from…

West Dean College has, for the past forty years, been providing innovative approaches to traditional crafts through its short course programme. Each year 700 short courses are taught by practicing artists and craftsmen in areas such as painting, drawing, printmaking, bookbinding, basket making, calligraphy, ceramics, glass, mosaics, jewellery, enamelling, blacksmithing, silversmithing, photography, pottery, sculpture, textiles and woodworking But for those who aren’t sure where to start, West Dean College is running for the third year its popular Summer Sampler Weekend (15 – 17 June), where you can turn your hand to four different areas on a single weekend. Giving you a great opportunity for mini-trials without committing yourself to a longer course period.

From a selection of four different subjects each day, choose two workshops, and get a real taste of new techniques and processes. By the end of the weekend you will have four finished items to take home.  The non-residential course fee (inc lunch and dinner) is £271, accommodation and breakfast from £91 - £157 for the weekend.

On the Saturday, choose from:

Portrait Sculpture Study: Working with sculptor's clay, experience modelling the head and neck by intensely observing the life model. At the end of the session, you will take a relief section of your clay sketch for kiln firing. With Jon Edgar

Glass Bead Making: Learn to make glass beads in a torch flame. You will make small plain beads and several larger round beads with simple decorations, in colours of your choice. With Barbara Mason

Enamelling Copper Bowls: Beautiful enamelled bowls can be produced by melting particles of coloured glass on to copper bowl shapes. The process is exciting and quick and after working on samples, you should complete one small bowl. With Pat Johnson

Patchwork - Traditional English Paper Piecing: Learn how to stitch fabric together over paper templates to create a hexagonal coaster. This traditional patchwork method uses very simple hand sewing skills which gives very accurate results. The coaster can be finished with hand quilting. With Janet Clare

On Sunday, choose from:

Jewellery: Learn the basics of jewellery making as you create texture, saw, form and polish silver to make an original delicate silver pendant based on the flower form. With Sarah Macrae

Monoprinting: Use a range of printmaking techniques to create exciting unique monoprints by drawing and painting directly onto a glass plate with printing inks. With Kate Dicker

Clay Animals – A Tower Of Beasts: Hand build and sculpt a stack of creatures. You can make dogs, hogs or beasties in three different sizes to create an individual ceramic piece. With Claire Ireland

Drawing With Thread: Explore the technique of free machine embroidery to creatively interpret drawings or photographic images. You will also experiment with layering fabrics to create background surfaces upon which you can freely draw with stitch. With Maria Pulley

ACCOMMODATION The non-residential course fee (inc lunch and dinner) is £271, accommodation and breakfast from £91 - £157 for the weekend. Partners who are not attending courses are welcome to stay at the College, sharing your room on a resident only basis, priced at £70 per night full board.

BOOKING INFORMATION For further information, to request a brochure or to book a place, please visit www.westdean.org.uk/college,  e-mail bookingsoffice@westdean.org.uk or call 0844 4994408

SPECIAL OFFER!  Save 5% on all courses booked online.  If you are new to West Dean you are entitled to a 10% discount on the cost of course fees (telephone bookings only).