Wire links students to Warrington’s heritage

A MATERIAL that is wired into Warrington’s history is helping inspire young artists across the town.

Pupils and students at schools that are part of The Challenge Academy Trust (TCAT) are benefitting from a partnership with Locker Group to supply metal-based meshes for art and engineering projects.

One of the first to create a piece using the iconic material is Priestley College’s Calvin Jake Ruelo who put it to good use in the final exam piece for his Fine Art A-Level.

“I wasn’t familiar with this material so at first I was just experimenting to find out what I could do with it,” said Calvin Jake, who is also studying A-Levels in Architecture, 3D Design and Maths.

“I wanted to break away from the norm and using a material for the first time allowed me to do that.”

Tutors at Priestley were so impressed with the former Cardinal Newman pupil’s work that they hope to scale up his designs for a permanent installation in college.

Wire became a big part of Warrington’s economy during the Industrial Revolution.

Locker Group is the town’s last surviving wire products company and as part of the agreement with TCAT, which looks after the education of around 7,000 children, it is donating a range of scrap and offcut materials ranging from ultra-fine to more robust specifications.

Steve Lane, Assistant Curriculum Leader of Art & Design at Priestley College, said hundreds of young people would benefit from their partnership.

“This initiative will support those studying art and design, engineering and architecture at Priestley by giving them access to a range of amazing materials that can be used in so many different ways,” he said.

Danny Woodward, Production Manager Locker Group, said: “We are pleased to help our local schools with this initiative. Lady Gaga had an outfit made from Locker fine stainless mesh, this is a great example of what can be achieved with our materials.”