I think the point at which I decided I needed to blog about some of my favorite objects is when I realized that among my favorite variants of items in the world, I have a razor blade that makes my heart sing (even if it’s a little ditty, hummed really, rather than a mountain-top operatic cry of love).
This one came from one of my favorite thrift stores. When I brought it to the counter, the manager misinterpreted my initial, “I found this loose and unpriced in the basket of sewing supplies–” and was apologizing and about to drop into the trash before I could even get the rest of the sentence out (–and I just want to know how much it is!). Despite my enthusiasm for it and attempts to explain why I found it so compelling, he still seemed bemused as he told me I could just have it, but to be careful. I’ve thought about returning with it now, framed.
I often find myself falling into these crush-like relationships with objects that reflect a certain gravitas, a reminder of both the impermanence of the thing and also its evolution. This is a razor blade, used for the kinds of things razor blades are used for. In this case, I suspect it was of the body-shaving variety, carefully inserted and secured into a steel razor blade handle, a promise of safety after the straightblades of the past (TANGENT: my grandfather apparently accidentally terrorized his son-in-law (and other bystanders) while using a straight edge razor to shave on a train ride from MN to CA when he was in his 80s back in the day–because why change a habit that works? (The shaving technique, not the son-in-law traumatizing.)). I initially thought the beautiful pattern in the metal was the result of the manufacturing process, but I now suspect it may be a bit of an affectation to appeal to an audience that still remembered (or thought they did) the difference between a quality razor blade and a bad one.
Either way, I’ve framed this little Made in the U.S. one, brand name “GEM”. I used black bookcloth that I already had on hand for the background; the frame I’d picked up some years before at some other thrift store and it previously held a mass-produced image that I hesitate to describe for fear of revealing my inability to speak knowledgeably about art styles.