The idea of “simplicity” seems to get thrown around quite a bit. It’s something Apple has used to build a literal mountain of cash (that and 10,000 other genius ideas — lest we get carried away here) and it’s a concept that everyone seems to rally around regardless if their business is making cheap fast fashion or high-end luxury. At the same time, it’s something that lies at the core of ACL, but simple is not the only thing I’m looking for. It’s when simple is combined with tradition, consistency and quality that things really become an obsession.
What does this have to do with a film about scissors? Everything.
I’m the type of person who would rather pay $40 for one pair of incredibly well-made scissors that 40 cheap sets that will break in five minutes. I’m the type of person who marvels over the quality of a finely made everyday object — an occurrence which is sadly a rare experience in our modern globalized lives (though there are many other amazing experiences which come from our globalized world; Anyone ever track their new iPhone coming FedEx 2-day air direct from its factory in Southern China?). I’m also someone who loves to discover these types of well-made things from a bygone era still being produced for this modern world. When an ACL reader (thanks Nick) sent me this beautiful word-less film by Shaun Bloodworth about a “putter” at the century-old Ernest Wright and Son workshop in Sheffield, England it carried me right away. These are things that are truly captivating to me, much more so than “fashion”.
It makes me happy to know there are enough people out there who are looking for these things. That’s why companies like Garrett Wade and Manufactum in Germany still exists. It’s good to know that there are still people in this world who are willing to spend more on the front-end for something that’s going to last long enough to actually be a better investment in the longer term. That’s what Steve Jobs would do. And these finely made Ernest Wright and Son scissors are the ones I’d imagine he’d have on his desk.