Friday, June 25, 2010

Sharp: Taking time to think

While planning this birthday present, I read more than I ever thought I would about straight razors and straight razor culture. I discovered loyalist blogs, dedicated discussion forums, and in-depth newspaper articles. What struck me the most was a forum post about the masculine ritual that shaving used to be.

Because shaving with a straight razor, the post pointed out, takes more time and care than shaving with one of it's modern, throw-away cousins, it allows the shaver time slow down, recharge and meditate. This, to me, highlights a lot of what has been lost in the modern "time is money" culture we've enslaved ourselves in today.

Not to mention all the waste created by the self-defeating drive to be continuously faster and more efficient than you were yesterday. The fact that the same straight razors used by our grandparents, with a little oil and a good stropping, still make for a silkysmooth shave attests to the their impressive shelf life, and the way we used to make things. Why does everything today have to be ├╝ber-disposable? Oh yeah, to keep you buying more. Bollocks.

This razor is a Barber's Pet 4/8, refurbished vintage straight razor from Shamrock Shaving, originally made in Germany. The shave brush is made from badger hair, as in the old tradition, and was also purchased online. The aftershave and shaving soap were found at Rainbow Grocery.

The booklet was written by hand and painted with water colors, then sewn at the seam using different colored threads. The box is a re-used cell phone container, and the tissue paper was repurposed from an old Christmas present.

Thank you Robbie for the inspiration.