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Striking symbol of expansion returns to our offices

A sculpture created from expanded metal mesh has been given a new lease of life, following its return to our Hartlepool headquarters after several years in storage off-site.

In 1962, the elegant sculpture – in the shape of a 6-feet high peacock with its wings outspread – adorned the lecture hall of The Expanded Metal Company’s newly opened reception block. It was displayed to show the extraordinary versatility of expanded metal.

Its traditional diamond-shaped pattern made it a fundamental part of the building and it was designed to demonstrate to customers and employees the wide variety of products and services offered by the company, as well as their development and application.

The sculpture has recently been re-installed and is on display in our offices in Hartlepool, demonstrating the compelling aesthetics of expanded metal to a new generation of clients and employees.

It was created by artist-sculptor Roah Schorr (1901- 1999), who designed and created the peacock in his studio in Chelsea in 1962. Speaking at the time, he said: “In the first place the material imposes its own conditions, it’s hard to use on the hands, so you soon learn how best to handle it. Each feather had to be designed and shaped individually. I found that the more I worked on the metal the more I grew to appreciate its possibilities from the point of view of sculpture. I’m sure there are many things one could do with it, especially for display work.”

According to Schorr, the idea of a peacock with its wings outspread, ten feet across at its widest point, was to symbolise the expansion of the company.

Shorr, originally from Switzerland, was unmistakably influenced by the Old Masters and had a life-long passion for animals. After a boyhood in Switzerland, he studied painting and sculpture in Munich and Paris, before moving to London in the inter-war years where he had a private studio.

Philip Astley, managing director at The Expanded Metal Company said: “We’re proud to have this particular piece back on display at our headquarters. It is a beautiful example of how expanded metal mesh can be applied to create stunning features, using the textures and versatility of mesh.

“It is a visible link to the company’s past and an excellent way to demonstrate some of the properties and versatility of the product to a new generation of The Expanded Metal Company’s employees and customers.”