This morning I raced up to Spotlight (which fortunately is a 2 minute walk from home) to get some emergency haberdashery supplies. As I was leaving a gentleman with a toolbox was also leaving the store. "Are you the scissorman?", I asked. He was. I then asked him if he was willing to drop into my studio to attend to a much used collection of scissors. He obilged.
I now have about 8 pair of razor sharp scissors, from thread cutters to this lovely pair.
I only found out a few years ago that my paternal great-grandfather was a cloth merchant. He sold lovely English tweeds and wool flannels to tailors around Melbourne. These are his shears. I've blogged recently about my seamstress grandmother. My other grandmother (daughter of the cloth merchant) is also a handy dressmaker. She has slim legs and at 94 still makes her own cigarette pants which she wears with twin sets or home-made blouses.
I also blogged a while back about the cutting shears passed down from one master tailor to another on Saville Row. Well, I don't have any allusions about being a master at my trade, but I do love these little mementos from the past, and you can probably understand why that story struck a chord with me. I like to think somehow that I'm getting a little crafty energy from my forebears when I slip my hand into the well-worn handle of those beautifully balanced scissors.
Oh, and while we're on the subject of scissors. I've always remarked at how I love, love, love the sound of my grandmother's scissors (another favourite pair now in my keeping) cutting fabric on a wooden table. It makes this wonderful crunching sound that gets to me like a favourite song. And then, when I was pregnant with Max at uni and leaning against the cutting table using those same scissors, it dawned on me why I love that sound so much. I have been hearing it since before I was born! Mum has talked about how the nesting bug struck her in a crafty way when she was expecting me. She spent many hours making cot sheets, edged towels, bibs and the like (with those same scissors) just before I was born. So that sound has been a familiar part of my life from the womb to the present day. Weird, no?