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by Maggie Fox October 08, 2022

What kind of scissors do you find at the Four Corners of the World?

Last week we had the wonderful, amazing privilege of visiting the world-famous Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland. Completed in 2013, the Inn is the vision of Zita Cobb, an Islander and extremely successful Canadian businesswoman. Together with her brothers, Zita created Shorefast, the non-profit that owns the Inn, with the intention of fostering economic resiliency within the isolated fishing communities of Fogo Island. 

Fogo Island Irish cemetery

This visit was unlike anything else: we were immersed in the villages of Joe Batt's Arm and Tilting, where we went berry picking, hiked, visited a local gathering place, and viewed the oldest Irish cemetery in North America. Furniture, fabric arts and wonderful food are all made locally. The Inn's focus on sustainability, and enabling people to keep their traditions alive and make a good living in a global economy, is very much what we are trying to do with Ciselier. Seeing this in action was wonderfully inspiring - it can be done!

Pallares Solsona Everyday scissors

It was also with great pleasure that we spotted something very familiar during our time on Fogo Island. In the photo above, guests are gathering to attend one of the Inn's famous "Crab Suppers". Once inside, looking at the the lovely long candlelit table, we noted handsome scissors at every place setting. The snips were white-labelled by a distributor, but we recognized them immediately as being crafted by Pallarès Solsona. While we don't offer this model (dare we say we found them a little lightweight when choosing our collection?) we do feature two beautiful pairs of more substantial scissors from this famed Spanish knifemaker. Even if you never get to Fogo, you can still enjoy the same quality scissors!

Berry picking on Fogo Island

While on a berry-picking expedition in an area near Tilting called Oliver's Cove (we were gathering the tart partridge berry, also known in Europe and at IKEA as lingonberry) my guide and I looked up to see one, and then two, bald eagles, doing what I can only describe as "horsing around"; swooping at one another but not making contact. Suddenly, one eagle released the fish it had been holding and the other somersaulted to catch it, mid-air. It was spectacular and I'll never forget it. We also did quite well on the berries!

During our foraging, we were chatting about the fabric arts that many on the Island create, both for the Inn (which is famous for its Fogo Island fabric artsquilts) and for sale to visitors. Turns out that most of the artisans (my guide included) use scissors from a major multi-national chain whose name shall not be mentioned. Knowing the Inn and community are so committed to supporting traditional ways of living sustainably, we happily prepared a package of fabric scissor samples from some of our European makers, and sent them to join their Spanish cousins on Fogo Island. On that note, we have placed an order for new fabric sidebents (and a fun new pair of kitchen scissors designed for fish!) from our great partners at Fennek. We hope to see them by the end of October, in plenty of time for the holidays. If you are not already subscribed to our newsletter, please do so - that's the group we inform first when new products arrive!


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