Local firm partners with Halesowen College to create new artistic landmark

(L-R) Florence Thompson, winning design student; Phil Bayliss sculptor; Guy Perry, MD of A Perry

A new local landmark will be created in Cradley Heath through a partnership between Halesowen College and A Perry & Co (Hinges) Ltd, who have been based in the West Midlands for the past 93 years.

The independent, family-owned company has offered the opportunity of designing a representative sculpture of its business to second year students at Halesowen College, supporting them in achieving their final diploma assignment.

The project was assigned to those students whose preferred artistic discipline is 3D work. After reviewing the submissions, A Perry chose the overall winner, 18-year old Florence Thompson, who will be awarded with a tablet for her achievement. Florence‘s design captures A Perry’s heritage and expertise, as it represents vividly the strong link between the history and future of the brand through two linked hands. 

The sculpture will be brought to life by local artist Phil Bayliss over the next few months. He’ll be using A Perry’s products including threaded bar, chain and various types of hinges to complete it.  

All students involved in the project will be able to use the work they have created to gain a credit towards their qualifications. The project aligns with an assignment that second year students are completing as part of the final year of their BTEC Extended Diploma in Art & Design.

The process commenced with the students’ visit to A Perry’s premises at Doulton Road, Cradley Heath to view its products and to receive a comprehensive overview of the company’s ethos and history in the region. Managing director Guy Perry and his son Steven, who also works for the company and heads up the home & garden décor products called Primus, then visited the college on two occasions to check on the direction the students were taking and to provide additional feedback. The students responded to the challenge in a committed, professional manner, producing five interesting concepts which were put forward for approval to A Perry’s board of directors. John Murray, director of organisational development at Halesowen College, says:

“The assignment was an ideal opportunity for students to work on a commercially relevant ‘live brief’. Within the Creative Arts Faculty, staff are keen to provide learners with experience of ‘real world’ applications to enhance their skills.

"We are eager to stress the employment opportunities that exist within the creative industries and this particular project is both commercially and aesthetically interesting.

"Going forward, the relationship between Halesowen College and A Perry & Co is developing well and we are identifying future projects that we can get involved with. We are grateful for the partnership and hope an increasing number of students will be able to benefit from these exciting opportunities.”

A Perry & Co (Hinges) Ltd is part of Sandwell’s ‘Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies Index 2017’, is working with prestigious customers including Buckingham Palace, Wembley Stadium, HS2 and supplying the studios that created Star Wars, Harry Potter and Doctor Who. Perry recently signed a licensing agreement with Aardmann Animations to design and create a Shaun the Sheep sculpture in conjunction with the Studios.             

Established in 1925 by Arthur Perry, grandfather and great-grandfather to the current third and fourth-generation family members who own and run the business, Perry is continuing to innovate and diversify into new markets. Renowned in the trade for its high-quality, good value products such as hinges, threaded bar, ironmongery and field gate lines, the company is also making significant strides into the equestrian and garden centre ornaments sectors.   


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