West Dean Arts and Craft Festival

Hands-on willow weaving workshop at the West Dean Arts and Craft Festival. Credit Christopher Ison
Hands-on willow weaving workshop at the West Dean Arts and Craft Festival. Credit Christopher Ison
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West Dean Arts and Craft Festival promises a unique celebration of the arts at West Dean College from June 2-4, 10am to 5pm.

Spokeswoman Gabriella Pampel said: “2017 West Dean Arts and Craft Festival brings together 200-plus artists, makers, writers and performers for the UK’s definitive arts and craft festival. “Taking place at West Dean College, the former home and gardens of Edward James, poet, Surrealist and arts patron, the festival will deliver a wide range of dynamic workshops, drop-in creative sessions as well as exciting live demonstration, performances and installations. Browse and buy unique pieces from 120 designers and makers, curated by MADE, and visit the dedicated Print Show. “Visitors will discover the secrets of West Dean House, with its intriguing arts heritage, along with the surrounding award-winning restored West Dean Gardens. “Festival-goers will be able to try their hand at a variety of new techniques by participating in creative workshops run by professional tutors in subjects as varied as stone carving, machine embroidery and oil painting. Artists will be revealing their practice through demonstrations in blacksmithing, tapestry weaving, painting, printmaking and metalwork. “Visitors will learn the secrets of etching, watch expert potters turn clay into beautiful objects and follow the Drawing Theatre around the grounds. These will be complemented by insightful talks and theatrical performances around the site throughout the weekend. “The festival includes West Dean House Opening, an annual event that offers visitors a rare opportunity to explore the Grade II* listed historic house and learn more about the West Dean Collection. “Guided architectural tours will run throughout the weekend taking participants on a journey through time from the 17th century Jacobean manor house through to the late Victorian alterations and on to the present day college. “The exhibitions on display include artwork and artefacts from the thirteenth to the twentieth century, combining the acquisitions of two generations of the James family. The fascinating history of West Dean contrasts a fashionable Edwardian interior with the eclectic collection of Edward James – which includes work from the Surrealists and Neo-Romantics. “Full-time students will be showcasing their work including: the launch of an anthology of writing by graduates of the MA in creative writing and publishing; installations by visual arts students; and live heritage projects from the school of conservation.” For further information and to book tickets and workshops visit www.westdean.org.uk. Don't miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live. Here are four ways you can be sure you'll be amongst the first to know what's going on. 1) Make our website your homepage 2) Like our Facebook page 3) Follow us on Twitter 4) Register with us by clicking on 'sign in' (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here. And do share with your family and friends - so they don't miss out! Always the first with your local news. Be part of it