Made in Sheffield - Where it all began.

Sheffield has always be known for steel, in the same way as Manchester is known for cloth. It's at the heart of the city and something that has played its part in putting Sheffield on the global map, along with the seven-hills on which Sheffield stands - it's the city's unique characteristic. It was an industry, much like the mining towns of the north, that brought people together and gave the community a heart, spirit and togetherness. 

Cutlery has been made in Sheffield since the 13th century. Harry Brearley developed (by accident) what has now become widely known as stainless steel. It's a material that is (probably) largely taken for granted by a new generation but before stainless was invented, cutlery was made from a carbon steel composit that stayed sharp but would also rust. Stainless steel revolutionized the entire steel industry, as it was the first steel with a 'rustless' quality that can be wiped clean and does not readily corrode or stain. Now a large part of the industry itself has been sold off to other European countries. That said, parts of the industry still remain, to which we at Mamnick are privileged to use today, to develop new products and explore new designs. 

David, our factory manager said "it wasn't that long ago that every morning the streets round here would be full of people walking to work before the sun had come up, ready for a day of honest hard graft, but that doesn't happen anymore". For 45 years my grandad was one of these people and the the reasons why I continue to design and make using stainless today. 

Mamnick's continually expanding 'Made in Sheffield' collection is all manufactured by David. Every product is made by human hands. In fact, when you buy a Mamnick product it's good to know that every process from the start to end is all done by hand. From the designing of the products on paper (and sometimes models made from bits of scrap cardboard), through to the actual manufacturing and hand-stamped packaging, the final product that you will receive will have been touch by no-more than three people. Me, David and possibly John (David's assistant). 

David still uses the machines he was using back in the day, they are an extension of him and we are grateful that he has now become and extension of Mamnick, allowing us to manufacture small runs of stainless-steel pieces that have been carefully blanked, filed and brushed using tools that have been in David's family for years. Hopefully these pieces will now stay in your family for years to come too. 

Photos by India Hobson

Comments on this post (1)

  • Jan 24, 2013

    Lovely piece Thom. Great to think people like David are still manufacturing, and that there are still a few people out there who can be arsed about buying British made goods, and appreciate the heritage behind it. Long may it continue and good luck to you both.
    All the best, Neil

    — Neil Dougall

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