From the digital world to traditional handicraft.
The love of detail is timeless.
The company in which machines from 1936 are still in operation was in need of an innovative boost. Paul and Jan improved the processes and renovated the machines. "Instead of going about things using the trial and error method, we defined fixed processes," says Paul. Thanks to his background in software development, a website and a webshop were also added to the mix. But one thing still hasn't changed over the 116 years: the love of detail when making the scissors. "In the workshops, you can feel the love and passion of each of the artisans. This can also be felt in the feedback which we get from our customers. We receive letters, e-mails and some customers even fly in to pick up the products in person, for example from Australia."
A new chapter in scissor-making.
Here, tradition is written with a capital T.
The art of manufacturing scissors lives on at Ernest Wright in Sheffield.
Scissors from Sheffield – traditional handcrafting in its sharpest form.
From Holland to England and back. With Brexit imminent, Paul and Jan decided to set up a small warehouse in The Netherlands and a location in Sheffield between which the stock can be transferred back and forth. They have already made the odd commute. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class in which they initially drove became too small at one point. "So we changed for a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter," reports Paul. "The vehicle is great for us. It drives fast, smoothly and reliably. What's more, it's comfortable and above all spacious." Paul's quality aspirations for the company's scissors are as high as those which he places on the quality of the chosen means of transport. "We didn't have to make any changes to our Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The eight-hour journey passes like a flash."
The art of scissor-making:
The basic shape of a scissor blade is forged in steel using a die. It includes a drilling mark to enable simple and precise alignment of the two halves.
A machine which has been in operation for more than 50 years takes off the first layer of material. Then the further stages of refining occur by hand. Here the blades are given the initial shape for their cutting edge. A belt-sander is guided through the handle of the blade in order to sand the insides.
|3. Hardening and rumbling:
This is where the steel blades are hardened. Depending on the model, this occurs either using salt hardening or vacuum hardening. Both methods deliver the same result: a rock-solid blade which stays sharp for a long time. Next, the hardened halves are treated overnight in a deburring and polishing machine called a rumbler. This serves to remove any sanding marks and give the blades a smooth appearance.
The blades are now ready to be put together. It's a delicate task which involves hammering the perfect curve into each blade. A highly-skilled task which takes years to learn and which sets handmade scissors apart from those manufactured in series production.
|5. Edging and sealing:
After the scissors have been put together, they are then given their sharp edges. Using a rapid movement, both blades are closed together for the first time.
|6. Polishing, quality control and engraving:
After being polished to a mirror finish, the quality control manager checks all finished pairs of scissors. Only when the product and the finish are approved will the "Ernest Wright" name be engraved.
Hand-made vs. mass-produced.
Quality meets quality.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter delivers the required tools to the scissor-makers.
In rank and file.
Every pair of scissors from Ernest Wright represents more than a century of knowledge, passion and character.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter as a scissor transporter.
The history of the Ernest Wright scissor manufacturer is proof of why Sheffield is famous for its steel.
Hand in hand.
Delivered directly to the workshop: scissor-maker Cliff is waiting for new blanks.