Ernest Wright and Son

It’s National Storytelling Week so we are going behind the seams and paying homage to the very best well fashioned stories committed to film – the finest craftspeople sharing their stories and skills for the camera.

Fashion is all about hands and hands need only the very best dressmaking scissors so over to you Ernest Wright and Son and The Putter film from the extremely talented photographer and filmmaker Shaun Bloodworth – tell us your story/show us your skills.

Ernest Wright and Son is a family company that has been hand-making the finest scissors and shears in Sheffield since 1902, and still does so today.

Most famous for its dressmaking scissors, Ernest Wright and Son has embraced the power of the story and used it to showcase the beauty of scissor making to a brand new and growing customer base.  Indeed, The Putter film has been credited with helping them to come back from the brink when back in 2014 the company was at risk of closure from a lack of orders.  The Putter went viral, bringing in orders from around the world – helping to reverse the company’s fortunes.

 

The rest, they say, is history, but a history that lives on with a successfully-backed lifetime lasting kitchen scissors kickstarter project seeing 3,684 backers pledging £248,419 to help Ernest Wright and Son bring back its ‘Kutrite’ pattern of all-purpose stainless steel kitchen scissors, and train apprentice ‘putter-togetherers’ in the techniques and art of putting scissors together.

Sadly, in writing this piece I read that Shaun Bloodworth, The Putter filmmaker sadly passed away last year.  Friends of Shaun are asking people to join the organ donation register.  You can see more of his work his work and on vimeo.

Well Fashioned Credits 

Ernest Wright and Son Limited is based in Sheffield, where they produce the highest quality, lifetime guarantee scissors and shears using traditional skills that have been passed down from generation to generation.  Read more about the history of Ernest Wright and Son and you can see more films about them here:

The disappearing art of making scissors by hand a BBC film by Susannah Reid in which Eric Stones, one of the two “Master Puttertogetherers” at the factory, spoke to BBC News about his disappearing craft.

Making Sheffield scissors – Paul Martin and his ‘Handmade Revolution’ team visited the highly skilled craftsmen at the Ernest Wright and Son Limited scissor factory in Sheffield in August 2012.

All images: Ernest Wright & Son Ltd

 

Life at the Mill

Day one of National Storytelling Week and I want to share this beautiful film with you: A life at the Mill is a film by artist and filmmaker Jeanie Finlay.

In the words of Jeanie Finlay, A life at the Mill  is “a collection of video portraits of ten mill workers, past and present, living in and around the Derwent Valley, Derbyshire. The film details the important role that work played in their lives, how it felt; to clean a mill, to work all your life, to face retirement, to shut a mill down and make hundreds unemployed and the hole that was left behind.”

Do watch, it’s a lovely film and really captures the love, working conditions, friendships, happiness and sadness of a life at the mill.  A real honour to see and hear people speaking about their lives – storytelling at its very best.  I used to live in Derbyshire so know the mills well, but never heard the stories told so well.

My mum used to work as a seamstress, and in lots of different factories in and around Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and Ireland, and my dad worked at Stanton Ironworks. Would have loved to have captured them on film talking about their lives.

Wellfashioned Credits

Mill workers: Doug Waldren, Lawrence Leatherland, Audrey Ankers, Brian Fleay, John Mumby, Mary Bowes, Peter Hodgkinson, Linda Coton, Kitty Weston, Dennis and Barbara Basford, and Tony Bowker.

Visit The Derwent Valley Mills for more information on the mills and visiting the area

A Life at the Mill by Fleet Arts and Glimmer Films.  Filmed and directed by Jeanie Finlay, artist and filmmaker.  A Heritage Lottery funded project, with additional funding from Derwent Valley Mills Partnership, Derbyshire Country Council, and Derby City Council.  Managed by Fleet Arts.

Images: Jeanie Finley

Other films by Jeanie Finlay, see IMDb and check out her cracking film about Nottingham Lace.