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Swann-Morton Sheffield

The Swann-Morton range of craft knives are manufactured with same precision cutting performance and consistent quality as their world famous range of surgical blades and handles. The comprehensive range of handles and blades are used by both the amateur and the professional craftsman to perform delicate and precise cutting tasks on a wide range of materials.

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Customer Showcase: John Speight

Papercut Artist John Speight explains why he uses Swann Morton blades.

Papercutting has been a tradition in our family since 1921 when my grandfather, Arthur Forrester, picked up a pair of vining scissors and set out on a career as a silhouette profile artist.

After Arthur's death in the early 1970s my uncle John continued portrait cutting with the same scissors at Arthur's last studio on Brighton's Palace Pier. John sadly died too several years later.

My journey into the family tradition of papercutting took a bit of a wayward route. I had contemplated taking up a career in art but instead entered forestry, and worked with VSO as an Assistant Forest Officer in east Nepal. My village, Bhojpur, was perched on a Himalayan foothill ridge, two days hard walk away from electricity and roads. It was not an easy place to live and I remember being stunned when I heard the local labourers only earned the equivalent of 15 pence a day in UK money.

I returned to North East England in the mid 1980s and was shocked when I noticed a print in a gallery window for £140. How on earth could you tell one of my Nepali friends that this printed piece of paper was worth two and a half years of their labour?

It appeared to me that art was becoming exclusively for the wealthy, as even prints were outside the pocket of many. For me that wasn't good enough. In my opinion original art should be available to everyone.

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