The joys of hand made
Before I sat down to write this blog, I put the kettle on. Now it would have been very easy to have just popped a tea bag into a mug and been done with it, but instead I got my fine glass teapot out and spooned in some lose leaf Darjeerling. Why? Well, it’s hard to say, but there’s just something about the way that things are made that makes a real difference to both the quality and your level of aesthetic enjoyment.
Of course, before the industrial revolution, almost everything was hand made, whereas now, almost everything is mass produced on soulless production lines. Yet there are still some shining examples of hand made goods that show that artisan craftsmanship is still alive and well, if you are prepared to look for it.
Hand made watches
You might expect the big names in watch making, such as Rolex, to make their luxury timepieces by hand, but most of their range is crafted and assembled by machines. However, the art of the hand made watch is still alive and well and living, as you would expect, in Switzerland and Germany at companies such as Dreyfuss, Audemars Piguet and Glashutte.
Hand made cars
The Fiat Strada once famously claimed to be ‘hand built by robots’, but in fact the truly hand built car is a rare thing. Prestige manufacturers like Bentley and Rolls Royce may put a lot more personal care into their manufacturing, but Bentley still produces around 25 cars per day, which means that at least part of their processes must be automated.
To find an authentically hand made car, you need to look to Malvern in Worcestershire, where Morgan’s engineers mold each steel body by hand around a bespoke ash frame, before hand finishing everything from the upholstery to the paintwork. Now that’s what I call artisan auto making.
Hand made musical instruments
One area where hand made is still the ultimate measure of quality is the sphere of music. While you can buy a factory made violin for just a few hundred pounds, and it might sound perfectly fine, many symphonies and orchestras will not allow their members to play anything that isn’t hand made. It doesn’t have to be an original Stradivarius, which can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, but it does need the magic of a maker behind it.
What does ‘hand made’ mean?
In many ways, hand made can be difficult to define. It could be argued that an Apple iPad is hand made, as it passes through 325 pairs of hands during its five day assembly process. Yet each component is manufactured by a machine, and every iPad comes out exactly the same. It is a mass production line that Henry Ford himself would be proud of.
Hand made chocolates
At Kennedy’s, hand made means just that; made by hand. Each of our delicious recipes is mixed by hand from the finest ingredients, and each chocolate is crafted by hand in our own kitchens. There is no conveyor belt and no automatic machinery pumping out huge volumes of robot mixed fillings.
Sure, you could programme a computer to create our recipes. You could build a fully automated factory, where the only human interaction is checking the chocolates as they fly by on a conveyor belt. But we firmly believe that it just wouldn’t be the same.
Somewhere along the way, the care and attention we lavish on every single variety, the love and dedication we put into everything we do, starts to make a real difference. Just like making a pot of tea with real tea leaves, the way our chocolates are made comes through in the pleasure and enjoyment they bring. It’s hard to say exactly how or why, but just like the Danish concept of hygge, which we discussed in our earlier blog, perhaps these feelings are not meant to be precisely defined. They just are.
So we hope you enjoy eating our hand made chocolates as much as we enjoy making them.