Wednesday, 16 October 2013

my new scissors

I bought these fantastic 'Faithfull' brand scissors a couple of weeks ago from Kynaston's, the brilliant hardware store in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, close to where I live in Southend-on-Sea.  The incredibly helpful shopkeeper and his assistant showed me their full range of scissors and guided me towards a lighter weight, stainless steel pair.  Although these would have been perfectly adequate for my purposes I was seduced by the black enamel handles and the sheer heft of the pair pictured above, which now have their own dedicated hook on my studio wall.  I explained to the chaps in Kynaston's that I was fed up with using cheap and nasty scissors (three pairs for a pound at Wilko) to which the sage assistant replied, "Ah, you have to remember that that type of thing is made to be sold, not used".  This is one of those indisputable truths that can be applied to so much of the crap that we end up owning and I shall endeavour to remember it next time I am confronted with a 'bargain'.

Now that I have my new scissors every paper cutting task that I have (and believe me, there are many) becomes a little treat to be anticipated and relished.  One of the subtle pleasures of using a tool like this is the satisfaction that comes from knowing that this is something at the terminal point of its design evolution.  I know very little about scissor design but I don't suppose that the shears employed by a Victorian haberdasher would differ a great deal from my faithful 'Faithfulls'.  This thought is something of an antidote to the incredibly fast pace of design change in our era.  Think of the amazingly rapid design development of, say, mobile phones or digital cameras over the last fifteen years, compare it with your silent, unchanging, unnoticed scissors and breathe out.

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