Small and powerful. These are my trusty Joyce Chen Scissors. Lexi introduced them to me during our first metalsmithing workshop. Be WARNED!!!! These little beauties are SHARP. Seriously SHARP! Lexi tells the story of our mutual friend, Helen Driggs, cutting a nice ‘V’ shape into one of her fingers using these puppies.
Their original intent was for use in the kitchen. They are sharp enough to cut through chicken bones, which is why you have to be extremely careful when you use them. Respect the edge, they have one!
So what the heck are these doing in my metalsmith tool arsenal? Well, they are wonderful for precision cutting. My primary use for them is to cut my bezel strips or solder sheets. They work great for taking little nips of what you need. I absolutely love them for cutting a thin 1mm or less slice from your bezel strips. You know, when you just have to remove a ‘frog’s hair’ as you fit a bezel around a stone, these are my go to tool for being able to cut thin, precise lines.
You can find these at your local kitchen specialty stores, Bed Bath & Beyond if you have one in your area, or online at a wide variety of places. My Google searches usually turn up results in the Amazon Marketplace Shops.
I only have one pair, but there are times when I can definitely see the advantage of having at least 2 in my studio. One at my bench, one at my soldering station. They come in several colors besides the red shown here, which I like. They offer these in white, yellow and blue too. Variety is the spice of life, right?
If you are looking for a strong, sharp pair of scissors for your metalsmithing studio, I think you will find the Joyce Chen Scissors are great. Just remember, keep your fingers out of the way…especially the fleshy parts and make sure you are paying close attention as you cut with these. They will remind you if you are not paying attention! Fortunately, mine have been very kind to me.
And if you are thinking of using them for their intended purpose in the kitchen, well, just buy a pair specifically for kitchen use. Once a tool has found a home in my studio, it never ever comes back into my kitchen…that whole cross contamination of food thing! Just don’t do it; don’t risk your health or that of your family and friends. No metal/chemicals in my kitchen and no food in my studio. Safety first!
Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.