Let us start by saying we’re astounded at the support our customers have given us during this most complicated of summers.
Despite long wait times on many of our scissors, your backorders have kept pouring in and keeping us more than busy. This has given our younger putters the impetus to grow, while master-putters Cliff and Eric have continued to give advice and apply finishing touches under socially distanced conditions.
Meanwhile, we’ve been building for the future, with upgrades throughout the workshop. New trainee Tony has installed a compressed air system, equipped with high-pressure air guns. This has made it much easier to purge scissors of residual moisture from the wet-grinding process. We’ve refurbished and reinstalled a long-neglected Viotto grinding machine, which will increase our capacity to grind angles onto the blades of our scissors. And all the while, our young putters-in-training are improving by the day.
“I can see me and Sam being like Cliff and Eric in decades to come. It’s my life plan now.”
As master-putters Cliff and Eric continue to work only when social distancing allows, Jonathan has taken on a leadership role at the workshop. Half a year ago, he remained an exceptionally able trainee. Today, he does everything from assigning each putter their tasks, to helping plan how we will fulfil orders in months to come.
“I’ve been thrown in at the deep end, because not only are Cliff and Eric shielding most of the time, but we’ve also had lots of orders and fewer staff,” says Jonathan.
Our master-putters are still very much involved in producing our scissors. They visit the workshop weekly to carry out the trickiest tasks, and are always available to provide expert guidance by phone.
According to Jonathan, Cliff’s advice on technical matters has been crucial. One example is the fiddly problem of a ‘sloppy pinch’.
“A sloppy pinch is where a pair of scissors are tight when they shut, but when the blades are open, they rock, as they’re quite loose,” Jonathan explains.
“Earlier in the year, I would have had to go through a full quality control process to find whether a pair of scissors will have that sloppy pinch, whereas Cliff could just look at a blade before he’s even put it together, and tell you whether it’s going to work out right at the end of it.
“Now, I’m getting better at doing what Cliff does.”
HERE’S OUR PLAN TO FULFIL OUR EXISTING BACKORDERS
Not only has Jonathan been studiously absorbing the knowledge of the master-putters; he has also taken on the responsibility of passing his learnings on to the rest of the team.
As Jonathan puts it, “Cliff has the knowledge, and I have to figure it out from watching and listening to him. I’m now the person in-between, who can put that knowledge into words and teach it to everyone else.”
Taking charge of the workshop has not been easy for Jonathan. Where he and our putter Sam can put together 75 pairs of antique stork embroidery scissors in one day, Cliff alone can manage 150 pairs.
But things are getting better. While the quality of the scissors being produced remains exceptional, the volume of production is steadily rising. Targets are being met, and Jonathan has become the glue between our putters, master-putters and office staff.
“I can see me and Sam being like Cliff and Eric in years to come. This is my life plan now, and it has been for a while.” says Jonathan.
“Whenever I’ve worked somewhere else, I’ve always taken into account that I might be somewhere else in 5 years’ time.
“Here, I fully intend to stick around.”
Last call for Christmas 2020 back-orders
Our production capacity remains below normal, due to effects of the coronavirus. There is now a wait time of around ten weeks on our scissors and shears – and we are beyond grateful to see that customers are continuing to place backorders, despite the slow turnaround.
We expect some of you will be planning on buying Ernest Wright scissors as a Christmas present for someone special. If that sounds like you, please note that September 18th is the latest date on which you can order a pair of scissors in the expectation that they will arrive at your address before December 25th. Orders placed after September 18th are likely to arrive early in 2021.
Thanks for sticking with us
through thick and thin
Your continued support is making the worst of times feel like the best of times. Every backorder we receive, every social media comment, and every name on our mailing list is another reason to be cheerful.
We’ll keep moving forward as long as scissors-lovers like yourselves are behind us. From Jonathan’s budding leadership role to the gradual improvements being made around the workshop, we are moving resolutely in the right direction.
The Ernest Wright team