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Our Blog: Chocolate Talk

Send All My Loving to You: Rachel Oatridge

Rachel Oatridge
This article originally appeared in the February/March 2017 issue of The Wedge Newspaper

In this era of “ILY” and emojis with hearts for eyes, it can sometimes seem that romantic sentiment has been diluted by the convenience of constant digital contact. Paradoxically, it’s getting harder and harder to express ourselves sincerely even as we discover ever-more ways to stay in touch. Valentine’s Day, with its emphasis on old-fashioned gestures like floral bouquets, candlelit dinners, and chocolate assortments, makes this incongruity all too clear.

That’s not to say that old-style communication has gone completely out of style. One local artist championing the traditions of yesteryear is Rachel Oatridge, graphic designer, letterpress printer, and self-described vintage enthusiast. Inspired by her growing personal interest in postal paraphernalia – as well as her New Year’s resolution to send more snail mail – Rachel is bringing her passion for old-fangled correspondence to the 2017 Valentine’s Day truffle collection with Hedonist Chocolates.

Send Your LoveIn keeping with its tradition of teaming up with local artists, Hedonist Chocolates selected Rachel to design a series of Valentine-related images, which will adorn the five-piece raspberry truffle collection released every February. Entitled “Send Your Love,” Rachel’s designs were inspired by the personalized care and thought involved in sending a handwritten letter. The process of choosing a card, writing a note in your best handwriting (maybe even cursive), selecting a stamp, and visiting the mailbox may seem like too much work to some, but it is exactly this ritual that Rachel enjoys. As a letterpress printer, Rachel is drawn to tangible objects she can physically hold and appreciate. As she says of her work, “It’s more than a printed piece of paper, it’s a printed piece of paper that someone put a lot of care into.”

In keeping with her postal motif, Rachel’s designs have an unpolished, hand-drawn feel to them, echoing the look of many handwritten letters. These images, which Rachel created digitally using her tablet and Adobe Illustrator, will eventually be printed in colored cocoa butter and applied directly to melted chocolate. In other words, Rachel’s designs, which celebrate a return to the tangible, will themselves transition from the digital world to the physical. Fitting, indeed.

If you’re looking to send a little love to someone close to you this Valentine’s Day season, stop into Hedonist Chocolates in February to see (and taste) Rachel’s work.

— by chocolatemaker Mary Rice

 
Pleasure, handcrafted. Hedonist Artisan Chocolates are handmade with fresh ingredients to give as gifts or indulge yourself.
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