We started to work out the designs for individual manhole covers by looking

at existing manhole designs 

which are mostly geometrical.


We then looked at some 

artist designed manhole 

covers from around the 

world for inspiration. 

The brief was to create a 

design that celebrated 

pattern, nature and industry. 


Plasticine is a much trickier material than it would appear

but the young people worked through it and created their designs.


We used the computer to work out fonts and sizes for the quotes gathered from the local residents and cut them 

out to layout onto the finished design.


Once the young people had perfected their use of 

plasticine and finished their individual designs, we held an open community session where the young people helped members of the community create a manhole


One young person then went on to help in a full class 

workshop in St Bernadettes Primary School Brinnington, where they achieved some stunning results.

Initial design stage, looking at inspirational manhole designs.

Experimenting with pattern and repeat.

Work in progress

Finished design although not the one chosen by the young person as his final piece.

Initial work on the tree.

Finished piece

We worked on the computer to work out the best font and the size it would need to be before getting it cut out ready to work into the design.

working out the layout of the cut out letters.

Design in progress

Final design with the letters in place.

Final design

Work in progress

Community session

Further design work

The young people assisted with the session.

One young person was very happy with her design and really enjoyed the session.

Workshop in St Bernadettes Primary School Brinnington. We explained to the class about the history of Needhams and a little bit about the casting process.

One of the young people helped to run the session and worked alongside the class to help with the process.

The whole class took part in the activity and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The class teacher was delighted with the results and very excited that the class had been involved in creating a number of permanent pieces for their local area.