Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The cutting edge of paper crafting tools

Like many other Etsy sellers who sell handmade paper goods, my paper crafting studio is filled with designer papers, adhesives, embellishments, and tools of all types and sizes. There are so many tools, in fact, that they spill into other rooms in the house, wherever they will fit. But among my favorites are those from Fiskars, the business that many of us think of as the “scissors company.” Over time, my personal collection of Fiskars cutting implements has grown to include pinking shears, rotary cutters, scoring blades, a button shank remover, embroidery scissors, paper cutters, paper punches, garden shears, and more. My first Fiskars product, however, was a pair of orange-handled fabric shears that I used when I learned how to sew.

Clockwise, from top center: Fiskars pinking shears,
cardboard cutter, rotary cutter, embroidery scissors,
button shank cutter, fabric shears

The story about orange scissor handles goes back to 1967, when Fiskars manufactured its first plastic-handled scissors. The designer wasn’t sure whether the final product would have red, black or green handles, but in the process of making prototype plastic-handled scissors, he used leftover orange resin from a molding machine intended for Fiskars juicers. Much to his surprise, the orange scissors were popular—so popular, in fact, that employees chose orange over black by a vote of nine to seven for the final plastic-handled Fiskars scissors. Three dozen years later, in 2003, the color orange was trademarked in Finland as “Fiskars Orange®.” You’ll see that color in most of Fiskars’ consumer products and packaging today.
Fiskars table top paper cutters

Fiskars itself is a 360-year-old company whose roots go back to Finland, which is where its corporate headquarters is located. It employs more than 4,000 employees worldwide, and produces a wide variety of home, office and outdoor tools.

Fiskars paper punches
The company was founded in 1649 by a Dutch merchant named Peter Thorwöste, when Finland was under Swedish rule and Sweden was known as the center of iron manufacturing. Thorwöste was allowed to build a blast furnace and bar hammer in the village of Fiskars (Finland) so that he could manufacture cast iron and forged products. Although most of the bar iron that Thorwöste produced was sold in Stockholm (Sweden), he also fashioned nails, thread, knives, hoes, iron wheels and other equipment.

Over the centuries, steam engines, plows and cutlery were added to Fiskars’ list of manufactured goods, and its manufacturing facilities spread to other countries. Meanwhile, all manufacturing in the original ironworks facility gradually ceased operation. In 1992, however, the Fiskars company decided that the way to breathe new life into the old Fiskars Village was to invite artisans, designers and artists to move into the old ironworks facilities, where they could form a cooperative and work. Today Fiskars Village has become a center of Finnish art and design. You can meet some of the artisans through FiskarsVillage Cinema Series.

Left to right: Fiskars embossing tools, cutting mat, eyelet punches,
embossing plates, and texture plate embossing tool

As you view the work of BBEST artists below, it will be apparent that I am not the only one who has benefitted from using Fiskars paper crafting tools, or variations of them from other manufacturers. Although there is no doubt that Fiskars has many competitors today, the fact that it is more than three-and-a-half centuries old—as well as Finland’s oldest company—suggests that Fiskars has a great deal of practice in developing “cutting edge” paper crafting tools.

by Kym of PaperParaphernalia

Set of 8 Christmas Tags,

by Jan of circleinthesand

Tags, Hand Colored, Foil, Set of 10,

Surprise Fibers, Autumn, Green, Brown,

by Myfanwy of paperpatches

8.7 ... the water that was all,

by Joon of joonwalk

Let it Snow Pre-made scrap book pages,

by Tammy of uniqueXpression

You can learn more about Fiskars, its history, Fiskars Village and its craft division by visiting these Web sites:
© 2009 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved. Please note that the images in this post are owned by the artists and may not be used without permission. Simultaneously published at


Myfanwy said...

It'a a great blog post, Judy, but isn't it interesting. I've always thought of Fiskars as the people who drove Wilkinsons Sword out of business - now, they really did make scissors to die for..... Maybe the Sword was the connection, LOL

circleinthesand said...

What a fun article.... I was totally enjoying reading all about this company, when I found my own tags as part of the post - Thank you for including me. I do so love playing around with paper and all those tools!!! Thanks Judy for a wonderful blog entry!

On a Whimsey said...

Thank you for a fascinating post! I guess most households own an 'orange' pair of scissors, I know we have several!

Great selection from the team too!

Beth said...

great posts.....interesting. I have those at work also.

Yankeegirl said...

Love my Fiskars and I'm a painter!! What household could live without to learn the background!

Fused Glass said...

You got me thinking on this one...I use a bunch of fiskas products also and I work with glass! Great article!

ZudaGay said...

What an interesting post, thank you for your hard work Judy!! I always love reading your posts. Great paper work everyone!!

Sixsisters said...

This is great Judy ! I also love my fiskars products.
I am always cutting paper for one project or another.
Thanks for another wonderful informative blog post.

Nancy said...

Excellent Blog!

Katzie said...

Great Blog (trying to change my profile) sorry for the Duplication.

Judi B said...

I really enjoyed reading the history of Fiskars and seeing more of how others in Bbest Team are working with paper! Thanks, Judy

blazingneedles said...

Great post! I love my Fiskars too - 2 pairs of shears and pinking shears.

jstinson said...

Judy, you have such a way with words...great post. It was both informative and interesting. Thanks for sharing your tool choices!

coloursandtextures said...

Interesting post Judy. I have a pair of Fiskars soft touch scissors that are so easy to use for cutting silk.

The Filigree Garden said...

I enjoyed reading about Fiskars and the history of the orange scissors. Like a lot of people, I have several pairs of those trademarked cutting tools!

Wireworks said...

This is a very nice blog... I can see that you put a lot of heart on your posts, that's why I'm sure I'd visit here more often. Anyway, if you have time, you can visit my blog as well, Abstract Art Painting / Buy Abstract Art. See yah!

joon said...

You know how I feel about scissors, Judy. This is great. Thanks so much for featuring my water collage.

snip snip :)