MuchO Bueno URUGUAY!
Day 3 Wednesday January 30
Today we were picked up bright and early by Ro Barragan, I only knew her and her work a bit from instagram but I recognized her. It is so weird when you feel like you sorta know someone from social media and then you meet them in person, they are so much better in the flesh. We drove through Buenos Aires to another super-fly old school printshop called Imprenta Pampa run by Juan Carlos and his team. There was MORE WOODTYPE there then I had ever seen. At first it felt a little intimidating in the mere presence of these giant presses, then as I was watched Juan Carlos and Mario set the elegant poster type one right after another, then transfer the designs to the press bed, I knew they were just masters of their craft. We got to set up our own poster and Kim and I teamed up to make something cool. In this setting there is no time to agonize over what typeface to choose, what size, but only to grab it, lay it down and fill in the space. The two of us were almost totally in sync, as everything fit just right and each part added to the one before until we were done, hardly taking us 30 minutes. Then we handed it off to Juan Carlos to get it locked up right. Even though we did not speak each other’s language it did not matter, I knew he needed a certain size furniture and I would grab the reglets and be ready for him. Seriously, it was like a lead nurse in surgery with the best surgeon in the world, thrilling. I could hear all the old guys calling me “Blondie” —it was awesome. We then got to choose our paper, which was 26”X44” and was like candy with its perfect multi-color gradients created by Mario, the maser of offset! Getting to see the monster press kick out our posters on the massive sheets was breath taking. We hung out for a bit after we put everything away, took a bunch of pictures then paid them for their time and left. We were off to La Plata again and I needed coffee.
Back in La Plata was Ro’s studio, it was small but again, totally efficient with a wonderful collection of wood type. We all showed our work then exchanged our favorites all the while in total awe of each other.
We printed, (of course) talked and took photos, we shared our process and were totally inspired by each other. We made our way back to Ro’s apartment, she offered us beer and prepared a lovely meal on the patio of her 7 story apartment that over looked the entire city. We looked at books, talked, ate and bonded. I definitely found me a new best friend.
Day 4 Thursday January 31
We packed up our bags and tried to manage our already ridiculous plethora posters and prints from the printers we have already visited. We left the Airbnb to get to Uruguay which required a ferry then a bus and another stamp in my passport. Got to the station and were picked up by Gabriel Pasarisa of Caja Baja, a design professor and the guy that taught many of the Argentinian printers that we went to visit. We drove to our Airbnb and dropped off our stuff then headed over to his printshop. It was gorgeous and had everything we needed. We began to plan the days ahead which includes a workshop here on Saturday with 15 people attending. We decided to get poster ideas going so that it could be all figured out by the time they show up!
I said I would carve something and since I have become obsessed with Mate (MAHT-TAY) I found an image of the plant online, Kim decided to carve a cool saying-like logo, and Amos set out to do what Amos does, put wood type in a press and print it. We worked until about 9:30pm, I don’t think we stopped to eat, but we did drink some craft beer that our Airbnb host made, it was muy bueno!
Day 5 Friday February 1
I don’t know what day of the week it is, nor what time, and I’ve decided I’m okay with it. Today we woke up early and Gabriel picked us up at the Airbnb (which is adorable, Kim and I are in bunk beds!) at 8 am and we set off for a big walk along the beach. We walked in the pristine sand for miles, it was beautiful, we saw where the two rivers met up to the sea and all the cool fishing boats. We went back to the print shop and took out the trusty yellow suitcase and showed off all of our work to each other, which is all so different but we can all appreciate and love the similarities as well as the differences. Gabriel’s calendar was perfection and he really enjoyed mine, he kept asking: “all Lino?” To which I reply “Si, all Lino.” That is the ultimate compliment to me because people are just in disbelief of that shit and it makes me happy.
Now Kim and I are drinking water, because we are in a constant state of sweating, and are gunna head back down to the beach, cause us Midwesterners, we gotta take it all in before we head back.