Mount Gay, the world’s oldest existing rum house from the island of Barbados, has created four video portraits of Original Spirits who share Mount Gay’s values of heritage, craftsmanship and hands-on artistry — demonstrating that they still have a place in our lives. They include Pete Raho, owner of Gowanus Furniture Co; Brock Willsey, owner of fashion boutique Vividbraille; photographer Ernesto Roman; and James Tucker, Co-founder of the celebrated letterpress studio – The Aesthetic Union.
As co-founder of the celebrated letterpress studio, The Aesthetic Union, James Tucker utilizes a number of mechanical presses, including a 1910 Chandler & Price, and a 1984 Heidelberg Windmill. Tucker’s interest in machinery began while working on his grandfather’s Christmas tree farm. “He showed me how if you take care of these things they will work, they will work better than the new things” says Tucker. “We cut down all our Christmas trees by hand; we wrapped them up for people. It’s that hand that’s in things. It’s even more important now than it was when I was a kid. The more we get away from it, the more we want it as people. I think that’s so important with old things; that everything is done by hand.”
The key values of Tucker’s practice include the preservation of time-honored techniques, an understanding of materials, and the production of hand crafted products. “With Mount Gay, I really like how their every barrel is mixed by hand, how the wood is selected, how they’re in the same location since 1703. They seem to be preservers of some kind of old way like I am, I really respect that.”
To watch all four videos featuring these “Original Spirts”, visit theoriginalspirits.com.