Liv­ing Na­tional Trea­sure Scis­sor maker

Country Life Every Week - - Contents - Pho­to­graph by Richard Can­non

AS far as she knows, Grace Horne is the only per­son hand­mak­ing one-off pairs of scis­sors in Bri­tain today. It’s a skill she de­scribes as ‘my own lit­tle bit of niche joy’. Based in Sh­effield, the home of Bri­tain’s steel in­dus­try, Dr Horne be­gan her work­ing life as a cut­ler, pro­duc­ing fold­ing knives for pocket knives.

How­ever, con­cerned that the skill of scis­sor­mak­ing was some­thing elu­sive that was ‘slip­ping away’, she headed to the li­brary to find out how scis­sors were made be­fore the In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion. The 13in tai­lor’s shears she’s work­ing on in this pic­ture are for a left-handed tai­lor­ing client in London’s Sav­ile Row and are the cul­mi­na­tion of two years’ work.

Some 90% of Dr Horne’s work is for in­ter­na­tional col­lec­tors. She once sold a pair of scis­sors for £10,000, but re­cently chal­lenged her­self to make an af­ford­able batch of pa­per and tex­tile scis­sors, aimed at mak­ers like her­self, for £300 each. ‘Peo­ple who make things for plea­sure are be­com­ing very in­volved in the story of their tools,’ she en­thuses. ‘They don’t want three for £1 from Ikea and they want to do their bit to sup­port fel­low crafts­peo­ple.’ Tessa Waugh www.grace­; http://her­itage­crafts.

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