Sheffield scissor firm is top of the chops at craft awards
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Ernest Wright have won the inaugural President’s Award for Endangered Crafts in this year’s Heritage Crafts Awards.
Ernest Wright owner Paul Jacobs said: “Of course, the prize money will make a crucial difference, as we continue to invest in our workshop and the equipment needed to make fine scissors. It will give our artisans and trainees the platform to help them flourish. But the even greater gift is your recognition that a disappearing craft like ours can be revived.
"We sense – and perhaps our fantastic fellow finalists sense this too – that the appetite for craftsmanship and heritage is increasing. In a world where low-quality, mass-produced products have been everywhere for years, people are awakening to what it means, and how it feels, to use quality, hand-crafted products.
"Having seen how enchanted our trainees are with the skills they have gained from the masters, and having heard countless tales of how our supporters have fallen in love with our hand-crafted scissors, we are confident that our craft will have the same bright future we are striving to create for it.”
Ernest Wright was founded in 1902 but following a tragedy in 2018, the company went into receivership and the critically endangered craft of scissor making was on the verge of disappearing from Sheffield.
Paul Jacobs and Jan Bart Fanoy took action and bought the company, re-hired the remaining master putter-togetherers, Cliff Denton and Eric Stones, and took on several ‘putters’ in training. The factory is now back in action with 12 scissor patterns currently in production.
The firm plan to use the prize to repair machinery in the workshop.
The President’s Award was one of five awards presented by Sir John Hayes at the HCA’s Awards Ceremony held on October 7. The event was held online instead of the planned Winners’ Reception due to take place at the Houses of Parliament, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.