Simplicity is Beauty. | A Continuous Lean.

Simplicity is Beauty.

Jun 29th, 2014 | Categories: Made in England, Video | by Michael Williams

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.

Comments: 11

11 Comments to “Simplicity is Beauty.”

  1. Vineca Gray
    on Jun 29th, 2014
    @ 10:05 AM

    Spot on. I have WISS Inlaid 20 shears that I bought more than 30 years ago (!) and they continue to perform perfectly. An interesting company – Swiss origins but Made In America. Working with a master sharpener is important as well. Thank you for this thoroughly satisfying read.

  2. Amy @ The American-Made Guide to Life
    on Jun 29th, 2014
    @ 11:34 AM

    This is craftsmanship at its finest. A great pair of scissors should last a lifetime. Or more. I have a pair of pinking shears from my grandmother that I’ve had professionally sharpened. Work better than anything that can be purchased today.

  3. Heath Mattioli
    on Jun 29th, 2014
    @ 1:49 PM

    Nice and simple – well done!

  4. Marc
    on Jun 29th, 2014
    @ 4:05 PM

    Beautiful work. Made to last I am sure. These are the type of products that become harder and harder to find these days

  5. John Glance
    on Jun 30th, 2014
    @ 4:12 AM

    Thanks for the heads-up on this great video and wonderful handmade scissors. As a professional leather worker, I really appreciate finely hand tools. I went to their website and bought a pair of the No. 7 thread snips and a pair 10′ carpet / upholstery shears. I’m looking forward to their arrival and will let you know how I like them.

  6. Gary Drinkwater
    on Jun 30th, 2014
    @ 7:07 AM

    Michael,
    Thank you for hosting these inspirations of Craft at its finest and alluding to how we should appreciate objects that matter. I’ve lived by the ideology of “Buy the best or buy all the rest”. Now, I need to get myself a pair of these.

  7. Matthew May
    on Jun 30th, 2014
    @ 1:32 PM

    Lovely.
    I too went to the site, which I loved as well. My wife is getting a pair of Embroidery Scissors for my birthday.

  8. Matthew Pike
    on Jun 30th, 2014
    @ 2:15 PM

    Really great post, and one of my favourites in a while. It’s great to share enthusiasm for a product and process that will outlast us all, if it can be carried on. These business aren’t celebrated enough, but a lot of the time we just don’t know they exist, so thank you to bringing them to my attention. You never know what else is just around the corner.

  9. JFPisa
    on Jul 1st, 2014
    @ 10:02 AM

    Amen!

    Today’s plastic obsessed and disposable society is a soul crushing.

  10. James Trusler
    on Jul 2nd, 2014
    @ 8:08 PM

    Great post – hands down. So well done. Inspirational work.

  11. T Shirts
    on Jul 3rd, 2014
    @ 11:41 PM

    Strategy of getting newer and newer items is really perfect and effective and so on to be the best one.

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