My Favourite Tool: Barbara Cattaneo’s fish tweezers

This nice little fish is a perfect assistant for refining every work. I fell in love with its shape in a huge crafts and embroidery shop and bought it straight away. These tweezers with a scissor head are very easy and safe to use. They help in trimming paper excess from mending, new guards, etc. They are essential when cutting threads that lie in a tricky position. I love the way you have to press firmly to produce a cut, holding them freely, without the constraint of the rings of usual scissors, and I really think they guarantee a wider control on the cut compared to other scissors. Being very small (about 10cm long), they always fit in my “first aid kit” for in situ repairs.


Barbara Cattaneo is a paper, book and photograph conservator. She has been working at the National Central Library of Florence since 1999. She holds a BA in Sciences of Cultural Heritage and received advanced training at, among others, GEH, ICCROM, Tobunken and GCI. She has taught photograph conservation and given workshops on photographic processes at ICRCPAL in Rome, Alinari, OPD and KHI in Florence. She is founding member of Fotonomia Firenze, a non-profit cultural association devoted to research and dissemination of analogue photography.  

2 thoughts on “My Favourite Tool: Barbara Cattaneo’s fish tweezers

  1. This is among my favorite tools too! For me, bar none the best thing for delicate cutting. They’ve been difficult to sharpen, however. I bought mine from Elissa O’Laughlin who worked at the Walters in Baltimore but has since retired. I don’t know where else to get them!

    Liked by 1 person

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