Printmakers stamp their mark

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A Queenstown stationary designer is proving the art of print isn’t dead, albeit it’s a labour of love.

Alyssandra Skerrett, owner of Striking Stationary, won gold for her hand-crafted engagement announcement cards and a ‘highly commended’ at this month’s Pride in Print awards in Wellington.

Over the last six years, Skerreet has claimed 13 gold medals and nine ‘highly commended’ – mostly for wedding invitations – taking out big league printers and advertisers, who have big budgets and capabilities to outsource parts of the creative process.

From start-to-finish, however, Skerrett is a one-woman band.

The artist spends countless hours hand-drawing every intricate detail, gluing glitter, looping lace, creating corner-edge ribbons and hand-folding envelopes.

It’s a tedious task at times, particularly when orders of up to 250 invitations roll in.

“I keep a segment of the original printing process still alive – there is machinery to do those hand skills now, but I do everything by hand.”

The craftswoman also doesn’t outsource printing, and has two printers, named Betsy II and Bonnie, operating in her Kelvin Heights home office.

In another coup for the region, Print Central also won gold for its high-end booklet about horses, published for the Waikato Stud. It was the company’s only entry, which also went on to win a highly-esteemed ‘process award’.

Hundreds of entries are nominated in the process wards, says managing director Graeme Hastie, so to be a relatively small player and win is “really pleasing”.

Judges of this category are looking at overall quality, including image and colour accuracy.

“They’re looking so closely at things that aren’t visible to the eye.”

Hesitant to take all the praise, Hastie’s thanked his Queenstown team for their dedication to quality printing.