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Leon Burman

Heritage Skills Student Placements 2023

By admin 16.04.2022

We are pleased to offer three 6-week Heritage Skills Student Weaving Placements from 4th July to 12th August 2023.

We invite applications from those studying woven textiles or anyone with experience or interest in working with textiles to apply for a six-week placement.

On our Weaving Placement, you will:

  • Learn about the care and operation of our Victorian machinery, including our waterwheel, winding frames, creel and warping drum, and tappet and dobby looms.
  • Learn about our weaving capabilities. Depending on where we are in our programme and progress, you will have the opportunity, when required, to assist with specific tasks, for instance, threading up a loom, winding bobbins and pirns, warping and the art of hand twisting.
  • Learn about our brand, explore our archive and develop ideas for the development of Whitchurch Silk.
  • Discover how a working museum and visitor attraction operates, including meeting and guiding visitors, retail, catering, answering queries and devising activities for families and visitors.
  • We are committed to ensuring that you have a great experience but must stress that while you receive training and instruction, this is, in part, a self-led learning experience. It is a work placement to give you an overview of working within a heritage weaving attraction.
  • How many placements are on offer? We have a total of 3 placements to offer.

Placement Duration: 6 weeks, Tuesday to Saturday, 4th July to 12th August 2023.

Hours: 9.15 am to 5.15 pm 5 days per week, including Saturdays; some time will be spent working on the demonstration looms and interacting with visitors.

What’s in it for me

  • Gain great work experience to add to their CV and a good reference;
  • Learn about winding, warping and weaving on Victorian and early 20th-century looms, and the care that we take of our heritage machinery;
  • Apply the theory and practice learnt during their studies in a working environment;
  • Practice organisational, management and personal skills;
  • Discover more about the silk industry at one of only three silk mills in the country;
  • Experience working life in a busy working museum;
  • Gain valuable experience of dealing with visitors, customers and answering enquiries;
  • £500 bursary;

See what our 2022 Students thought of their experience;

Here’s what past placements have said

“One of my favourite and most interesting placements I completed at Whitchurch silk mill. I was at the mill for ten weeks. I had a very hands-on and exciting experience.” Loughborough University Student 2015

“During my work placement, I learned a lot about how the mill operates now and how it has changed over time. I learnt some of the skills involved and had the opportunity to operate some of the machinery, including the power looms. This led to me gaining a job at the silk mill.” Winchester School of Art Student 2014

How to apply

Send your CV and a cover letter, including details about your interests, objectives and studies, to weavers@whitchurchsilkmill.org.uk by 15th April 2023. Please do not send a design portfolio, but please share links to your professional social media profiles if you want to.

Interview date

Wednesday, 26th April 2023, we hope to hold these in person.

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