Friday, July 31, 2009

Teaching At West Dean, UK

I had the immense pleasure of teaching a lampworking workshop this summer at West Dean College, which is founded by Edward James, whose 'desire to see traditional skills preserved and incorporated into contemporary work'. West Dean is a haven for artists, not unlike Haystack or Penland in the USA. You work in a creative environment; studio is open till 10pm each day, no need to worry about meals since they provide three meals per day for all participants. This is the first lampworking class I taught at West Dean with another lampworking class running in November of this year.

Path leading to the visitor's center
Side of college building
Part of college building

Front of college building; it's like a castle, isn't it?

Since lampworking is relatively new to West Dean, they do not have a 'fixed' lampworking studio. Each table set-up is mobile and will be brought into the studio whenever lampworking classes are held. Safety issues such as ventilation and proper fixture of the torches on the tables were brought up to the college on my last day of teaching and these issues shall be rectified - a learning process for the college. These are not ventilation systems but dust extraction systems which were loud and unsuitable for lampworking. The college plans to move the mobile lampworking stations back to the other studio which has a central ventilation system, which is more suited to lampworking purposes. The lampworking instructor who first taught at West Dean did not advise the college on a studio set-up with the safety issues in mind. Apparently she no longer teaches there.

Lampworking Studio in Stone Room

View of the estate from my bedroom - yes, those are sheep in the background! Both students and tutors were given single rooms with private baths, with all bedrooms having this view.
I decided to visit the sheep
Sheep's view of the college building
A stroll to within the Kitchen & Glasshouses
Garden shed
Within the melon glasshouse; I was fascinated with this working contraption; a lever for opening windows
Giant onions; West Dean uses their own homegrown vegetables for our meals. Look at the size of that onion!


eve said...

This place looks great, wish i could have a nose about,x

Dora Schubert said...

It is great, Eve! Better in person than in the photos!!!