Recently I had the opportunity to attend The Balvenie Rare Craft Collection event. If you’re not familiar with The Balvenie, it is a hand crafted scotch distillery in Dufftown on Speyside, Scotland. So how does this translate to print? The event is traveling across the United States and recently held a session in Chicago. The Balvenie wanted to pay tribute to true craftsmanship and look at a few businesses where craftsmanship is still truly relevant.
As I entered the craftsmanship section I lock eyes with a 95 year old letterpress still being used by Megan O’Connell at her Detroit business Salt & Cedar. Obviously I started talking to Megan and learned more about how she is using the letterpress today to produce some of the finalist programs, invites and other materials for clients. It was interesting to see peoples reactions to learn Megan was still using this machine and the type of work that it was producing for her clients. Below are some of the pictures from the event and I wanted to share the letterpress and its pictures with InkOnDaPaper fans.
It’s really good to see companies like Megan’s take the time and show the true craftsmanship of printing. I think we get lost in the presses today, because of the automation and ease of use to really appreciate how printing is an art and takes the time and effort to make a beautiful piece. Seeing and understanding this process allows you to appreciate a printed piece, especially when you take the time to understand the entire process.
Did you know: Letterpress printing was the normal form of printing text from its invention by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century until the 19th century and remained in wide use for books and other uses until the second half of the 20th century. Letterpress printing remained the primary way to print and distribute information until the 20th century, when offset printing was developed, which largely supplanted its role in printing books and newspapers.
Of course we did have to try the scotch while at the event and learn more about how The Balvenie has been distilling scotch since 1892. I can tell you this, they know how to distill scotch and they know true craftsmanship as well. The event we attended also had a session with Anthony Bourdain. He is partnering with The Balvenie to help them promote the brand.
From my stand point it was a really enjoyable event and if you get the opportunity I would try and attend. Learn more about the events and cities they will be in here: https://us.thebalvenie.com/
PS……I have to hand it to The Balvenie as they truly understand craftsmanship and seem to love printing as much as we do. Looking through there website I found the below video on Arion Press.
Have a look.