Maggie Maher, Buffer Girl, Linocut Print


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A portrait of a Sheffield buffer girl, aged 15 when she began work.

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At the height of Sheffield’s cutlery and associated trades, the final polished finish was applied to the products by a band of highly skilled women, known as ‘Buffer Girls’. They acquired a fearsome reputation for their forthrightness, and unwillingness to take fools gladly. Heaven protect the apprentice boy who innocently wandered into their domain!

The work was dirty and difficult, and the women wore headscarves, neckerchiefs and heavy aprons to protect themselves, as depicted in this portrait of Maggie Maher – shown here when she was approximately 15 years old in 1913.

This linocut print is created using my drawing from a very old photograph. It is made using my own hand carved plate, on Daler-Rowney Canford, acid-free paper and water-based ink.

Please note that this is an original hand-burnished lino print, not a digital or other reproduction. Thanks for viewing!

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