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Student Reveals Incredible Design Talent In Bid To Give Poorly Mum Something To Smile About

 Louth Academy Year 10 student James Gilliatt (15) with his intricate metalwork sculptures.

A Louth Academy Design and Technology student who turned his talents to making flowers out of recycled brass and copper to put a smile on his mum’s face during a battle with breast cancer could now turn the idea into a business.

Year 10 student James Gilliatt (15) used his dad Simon’s home workshop to produce the amazing sculptures, which are a combination of twisted copper stems and beaten sheet metal work. 

The copper wire is extracted from disused spools of plastic coated  wire from a local factory, and the sheet metal is offcuts from his dad’s garage. The petal work is beaten, shaped and then riveted together. The materials are 100% recycled, including the wooden bases.

James works all of the pieces by hand, using whatever tools are at his disposal. He explained: “I started this at Christmas to make some flowers for my mum Carrie, who is going through breast cancer treatment and is now just finishing her chemotherapy. I thought I could make her some flowers to put a smile on her face and she loved them,” he said.

“It takes between three and five hours to make each piece and I find it really relaxing to go into the workshop and make them.”

And Carrie is not the only one who was impressed with James’ designs. Louth Academy Head of Design and Technology, Meicah Pickwell, said: “James asked if he could show me some work he had done at home and I was stunned. The detail and skill involved in creating these sculptures out of recycled metal is fantastic, and I had no idea that James was so skilled in using metals this way.

“He has formulated his own ideas and brought them to fruition and I am so impressed with the detail and the riveting that I have bought two of the sculptures to take home. I am so proud of him.

“We now know that in Year 11 he will definitely be specialising in metalwork for his GCSE. We have also talked about how he can take the sculptures further and he is thinking about trying them out on local market stalls to see how popular they are. I certainly don’t think he will have too much trouble selling them, they are truly beautiful,” she added.

James, whose family have a military background, is looking to join the Forces after school, but would be happy to see his hobby become a viable business. “It would be nice,” he added modestly.

James Gilliatt with some of the metalwork sculptures he has created to put a smile on his mum’s face. He is pictured with Louth Academy Head of Design and Technology, Meicah Pickwell.

Above and below: The metalwork sculptures made by Louth Academy student James Gilliatt (15).

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Louth Academy

Philip C Dickinson
BA (Hons) MA PGCE.