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Each year, Dumfries House welcomes students from all over the world to study on its wide range of education and training programmes. @theprincesfoundation, which runs the programmes, is renowned for its work in training the next generation of craftspeople specialising in heritage skills such as stonemasonry, blacksmithing, woodcarving, thatching, and plastering. Jue Sota enrolled on the Building Craft Programme as a bursary student of The Worshipful Company of Plaisterers and completed the course in February. The 31-year-old is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and now lives in south-east London having moved to the UK to obtain a degree in Fine Art. “During my time at Dumfries House, I learned a lot more than I could have imagined. Being thrown in with a group of people from all over the world I had never met was amazing; they were such skilled people with a shared interest in traditional craft. I learned so much about myself and other crafts, and I was able to pass on what I know about craft. The estate is a beautiful place to work, we were treated really well. I felt incredibly lucky to be on the programme, and the Summer School and business week were particularly well curated.” As part of her studies, Jue completed a work placement with plastering specialists Locker and Riley, Stick In The Mud, Phillip Gaches and Karl Claydon. Armed with her qualification from The Prince’s Foundation, she now hopes to continue in the trade as a craftswoman and artist. “I was on the Building Craft Programme to focus mainly on heritage plastering and earthbuilding, but I wanted to learn how all the crafts interconnect. “With the huge range of traditional skills practice across the world, we can once again connect with our primal roots wherever we are from and learn how to work with local raw materials which is incredibly empowering and also naturally more sustainable and healthy. Ultimately, that’s what really drives me.” Jue will present a Zoom talk on heritage skills and job prospects via The Worshipful Company of Plaisterers. You can gain updates on how to follow the presentation next month (July) by following #theplaisterers on social media.

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