I have been working as a Trainee Curator for Wheal Martyn Clay Works for two and a half months. This was filmed as part of a smart phone video training session before the lockdown, after two months of my internship. Up to that point I had primarily been working on an upcoming exhibition “China Clay in your Everyday” where I researched what products and industries used kaolin (china clay) as an ingredient, creating potential ideas for the exhibition space and contacting companies to ask for permission to potentially use their products in the exhibition. I really enjoyed getting the time and space to really research and learn and I found it genuinely fascinating to find out that china clay…really is in everything! I particularly enjoyed visiting the new temporary exhibition space; it was really exciting to visualise what it will look like in the future.

I have also joined the collections volunteers for a few sessions where we replaced acid-free tissue paper, which protects the objects in the stores. Wheal Martyn has a lovely collection of objects and I had so much fun carefully handling them and replacing the paper, all the while learning new things! My particular favourite objects were beautiful tiles depicting scenes from various Shakespeare plays…perhaps more on those, later!

The latest project I have been working on is updating the guidebook to reflect the changing mining practices as well as the new spaces opening up in Wheal Martyn. I have really felt honoured to work on something so important and it has been great to learn more about an industry that is so integral to this area of Mid-Cornwall.

I am from St. Austell and I have family who have worked in the industry and who have and continue to live in clay country so to be part of this wonderful museum has made me feel very lucky!

The challenges we face now are not to be dismissed, but I truly look forward to the next 6 and a half months working for Wheal Martyn Clay Works and gaining as much experience as I can!