The Balvenie distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, however, took a different approach to standard advertising, one that I can fully support. They are helping to shed light on incredible makers around the world with a video series called Raw Craft hosted by Anthony Bourdain. I would say that they should be as proud of their advertising strategy as they are of their craftsmanship. I may never use their actual product, but I will happily share this video series, and chances are that you will too.
Raw Craft is about people. Artisans who make incredible things by hand. There are 6 episodes, and yes, I’ll include all 6 below. The cinematography is gorgeous and the people are truly interesting.
Episode 1: The Borough Furnace
In the first episode, Bourdain visits Borough Furnace, where cast iron skillets are handmade. I loved getting to see how exactly a cast iron skillet is made, and as someone who has owned a few, these look like very nice examples.
Episode 2: Frank Shattuck
This episode is centered around Frank Shattuck, a tailor, and truly interesting person. His absolute and unyielding devotion to quality shows with an intensity that is hard to deny. Shattuck is many things, but most strikingly he is humble.
Episode 3: Steve Goodson
Steve Goodson makes incredible saxophones. I absolutely love that he calls his best a “category 5” in direct reference to hurricanes. This episode was fun, but I really wished there was more of Goodson actually working. I want to see that skill in action!
Episode 4: Bob Kramer
My personal favorite of the series. Bob Kramer makes some of the best kitchen knives in the world. He seems passionate about his craft, but also seems to truly enjoy sharing his process. This episode also stood out to me due to the amount of Kramer’s work they show. I really felt like I learned about his craft, especially when he shows off “the shadow.”
Episode 5: Arion Press
While many people may tout that “print is dying,” Arion press is still making meticulously hand crafted and bound books. The care that goes into hand binding these books is simply wonderful.
Episode 6: Dufftown
The sponsors of this show capped the series with themselves. However, even though they’re the sponsor, their craft fits right in. A whiskey distillery can be a truly beautiful place and watching this video I could almost smell the wood, grains, and copper.