I might have looked up printing online or in the guidebook before I went, although I wasn’t sure I’d have time to check anything out. Then we ended up having dinner at a restaurant right next door to this print shop, and the restaurant’s menus had been made there!
It was evening, so they were closed, but I was able to go back when the shop was open. They have a great gallery space in the front, the first time I was there with Zigy, one of his things when he goes to shows with friends is for each to pick out the piece they would want to have, so we had a fun discussion about our whiches and why.
I also wandered back in to the studio area, there were a few artists around – one working on a plate, another mixing ink, a few printing a lithograph – or maybe it was getting a lesson, I wasn’t quite sure. Part of me really wished for the Spanish here, although even if I did have the language skills I’m not sure what I would have asked. It just felt good to be there though, you know how some places have an energy that resonates with you and feels like home.
An etching caught my eye, turns out it was by the Director – of about a year – Octavio Irving. He showed us the plate and the press he’d used for printing. With Zigy’s translation help we were able to chat a bit about the different work being done there, and how supplies – paper and ink have to be bought from abroad. The shop is a government space, there’s about 100 members – I didn’t get details of how one becomes a member – and maybe 10 to 15 per day come in and work.
Turns out they also had an upstairs gallery/store area with more finished work, but we were out of time. I did go back another day and look around there – lots of wonderful pieces – and then, since it was a weekend day it turned out that artists had more things out in the studio/work area. I’m very glad it worked out that I was able to visit!