The history of the Alma Charta atelier begins in 2005, when André Beuchat decides to renovate the Toccalmatto estate in Fontanellato, in the province of Parma, and turn it into a charming printing house for collectors.
At a time when the world is moving at a rapid pace, in which there seems to be no room for the slow pace of artistic practice, and the interest in pursuing it is hampered by too many practical and economic problems, Alma Charta is the place where time stops and beauty takes over. Beuchat, who is of Swiss origin and Venetian on his mother’s side, attends the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica (International School of Graphics) in Venice, where he learns the basics of engraving. Since its founding, this unique place, located in the Parma area, just a few kilometres from the enigmatic creations of the renowned Italian painter Parmigianino, has stood out for using high-quality raw materials and for the unmistakable passion of its founder, who was also an engraver, printer and publisher. Beuchat specialises in copper engraving and letterpress printing, which he produces by hand using original lead and wood typefaces.
He is a sought-after compositor of high-quality creations reminiscent of ancient techniques and of the great masters of the past. Paper, the engraver’s preferred material, becomes a meeting place, where pages of written words meet images skilfully engraved on copper, where typefaces meant to last over time are engraved in the textured material used and collected in high-quality bindings, becoming sophisticated examples of fine craftsmanship for collectors. At a time when technical reproducibility is becoming increasingly popular, in an attempt to replace manual skills, André Beuchat is working on a project that is also a challenge, namely to bring ancient typography back into the spotlight – as it no longer has the same appeal in Italy as it had abroad – thus continuing to expand his product range, supplying a large audience of connoisseurs and enthusiasts. With its exclusive objects of refined and elegant workmanship, Alma Charta is the solution for those looking for something one of a kind.