• The Wire Works

The Wire Works – Woven feelings – Drawing activity


Wireworks is a National Lottery Heritage Fund project that celebrates the Wire Industry of Warrington. Artist Laurence Payot is creating a series of activities and workshops which will contribute to a final art piece,  presented during Heritage week (11 -20 September 2020).

Contribute to the collective artwork by taking part in this short arts and craft activity, and send your image to 


Feelings and metaphors of wire mesh and metal sheets…

Heritage fact: 

Wire has been manufactured in Warrington since the end of 18th century, with wireworks such as Rylands, Monks, Whitecross, Lockers  employing en estimated 9% of all wire drawers in England and Wales, almost twice as many as Manchester.

Woven wire cloth is largely an ‘invisible’ product, but is a product of great importance. Its presence is rarely detected as more often than not it is incorporated as a filter or screen or used within a process. There is little visible evidence for the public to see apart from the pattern on a digestive biscuit, the wire mesh filter in the base of your cafetiere, or the flour sieve in the kitchen cupboard.

Woven wire mesh and wire cloth have countless applications today: filters for road vehicles, floor coverings, chipboard, hardboard, pulp and paper processing including watermarking for banknotes,  filtration and separation processes for the petro-chemical, pharmaceutical and food processing industries, radio and microwave shielding, ore and minerals screening…

You can find out more here.


You will need:
– Some sheets of thin A4 printer paper.
– A pair of scissors

What pattern would represent best how you feel right now in regards to the current situation with Covid? Choose a feeling to express (trapped, connected, overwhelmed, protected,….). Then cut a wire mesh/metal sheet pattern to express that feeling following the simple folding and cutting instructions below.

For example:
> Do you feel trapped, only tiny small holes connecting you with the outside world, like a tight wire mesh?
> Do you feel connected, the wire mesh showing thousands of connections between you and the world-wide-web? Is your pattern a complex system of interwoven wires?
> Do you feel vulnerable, the mesh filtering fresh air and removing any feelings of insecurity?
> Do you want too use the mesh to filter good and bad feelings, leaving bad feeling out, letting good feelings seep through?


1/ Fold a piece of paper.

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2/ Fold again to obtain a thinner rectangle.

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3/ And again.

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4/ Cut some shapes along each sides of your strip of paper.
Be careful not to cut all the way through to the other side of you would cut the paper in half.

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5/ Open and enjoy.

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6/ For best result, repeat the process and have fun with the shapes you cut out (curvy, sharp, big, little).
You can also try and fold your paper in different way and see how that affects your design.

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Images of pattern books courtesy of Warrington Museum & Art Gallery (Culture Warrington).

Thanks for sending your contributions!

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