Thanks for friends and tutors putting me in touch with some great people and everyone I meet generously offering further contacts, I’ve been lucky to visit ad meet printers from various walks of life. Starting with La Buena Estrella, an artist-led space with an etching press and gallery space in what I’m discovering to be a lovely neighbourhood (shhh… don’t tell the hipsters!) in San Rafael. César has kindly offered me the space for an exhibition after my residency at La Ceiba – eeek! How exciting, if not a little daunting… let’s hope the experiments turn out well!Watch this space!
He suggests I contact Arturo Negrete, the master printer with a studio in Doctores/Obrera area (where I learn all the commercial supply shops are based). Taller 75° is down a small road and to my luck, just as I find the number, a taxi pulls up and out jumps a guy holding a screen… I must be in the right place. I am indeed. El Torro (the guy from the taxi) and Flacco (not so slim) and other kind and patient folk abide me watching them print and asking questions in my terrible Spanish.It’s great to get a perspective from the commercial end of the spectrum of studios and print jobs. In fact, they even show me the ropes of printing with solvent-based inks.
Did you know the inks get warm after you’ve printed such a big edition? Ha! Tricked into my baptism of solvent-based screen printing!
My third visit is to TPT Grafica, set up in the 1970s by Martha Hellion & Jan Hendrix and run by master printer Pablo Torrealba. This is my taste of a real fine art screen printing studio who have specialised in large-scale screen printing and using various metallic leaf and inks. The breadth of work is astonishing and I have great discussions with Pablo over halftone techniques.
I am completely honoured by my final Mexico City studio visit, this is to Martha’s studio itself. It’s always magic to see other artists’ studios, what inspiration they keep at arm’s reach, the books on their shelves – it’s where the magic happens.