Disappearing or Reemerging Arts?

Not too long ago a craftsman would make a pair of scissors that would last generations.  When the blades became dull, one would return to the craftsman to have them sharpened.  In the rare case the hinge broke, the craftsman would repair that hinge as well.

Mass manufacturing began the demise of traditional crafts like hand-made scissors. Consumers began buying cheap scissors that cost a fraction of the price of a traditionally crafted pair. When a pair of mass produced scissors broke, consumers return to the box store to purchase another pair while sending the last pair to the land fill.

Even though the box store variety of scissors have taken the forefront, there are traditional craftsmen still handcrafting scissors, but they are becoming rare. Ernest Wright and Son Ltd may be the last scissor craftsmen in Britain. Like most traditional craftsmen, they faced losing their business in 2014 to the box store variety.

That changed when photographer Shaun Bloodworth filmed Wright and Son demonstrating the craft of hand-made scissors. (See the video at:The disappearing art of making scissors by hand – BBC News) The video went viral and orders began pouring into their shop. Many of the orders came from the United States of America and Australia. These orders demonstrate the growing dissatisfaction with cheap, mass produced products. People are more willing to pay for hand-crafted items that will last generations once more.

Not only are they willing to pay for these items, but there is a growing desire to learn how to produce items of quality and value by hand. People concerned with sustainability are learning traditional crafts. They are building a future where box stores are no longer needed and the traditional craftsman is once again supported and honored. This is one of the many reasons Skillstourism was created, to support and honor traditional craftsmen.

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Guest Post By Elizabeth Garvey

Photograph by Shaun Bloodworth

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Catherine Cullen

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