Wednesday, July 13, 2005
My visit to Nicks printshop in Barga, Italy
Myself and Swietlan Kraczyna a.k.a. Nick
My friend Nels took a class last summer on multiple plate color etching with Nick, which I have talked about previously. He invited me to go visit him. I was in Italy at the time doing the WWOOF program (which I highly recommend). It was my last week in Italy before heading up to Switzerland, so I thought I would swing by. The drive to the town was amazing. The roads were so skinny as we passed through forested mountains and valleys. There were tiny towns which had most beautiful atmosphere. Of course, at every little town there was the town elder sitting in a chair outside of his/her house watching the traffic and people going by. After a few hours of getting lost, we finally made it to Barga. The town seems to be split in two. On the top of the hill was the old Barga, and below around it was the newer Barga. Surrounding the whole town were green mountains as far as the eyes could see. Old barga is just beautiful. I got lost as I was looking for Nels, and I was astonished to see that there were so many art galleries and studios. It was a little town of what seemed like, artists. Because we were two hours late and the heat was unbearable we missed our meeting with Nels at the Cathedral. So, I was running around this quaint little maze of a town trying to track him down. Nels is not hard to miss. He's over 6 foot, skinny, and you never know what color hair he is going to have. Also, he usually wears purple all the time. I was so sad that we missed him. So, I waited for the tourist office to open (siesta time) and went to ask where I could find a printshop in the town, and also if I could check my e-mail. As I was using the e-mail, a loud American walked in and was asking for hiking trails. It was Nels!!! I was so happy to see him, and he to see me. He took me to Nicks printshop. It was amazing. Nicks prints were all over the walls in the front "gallery". I could have easily mistaken them for painting except for that intaglio look of how color and paper and texture come together just so beautifully. His craftmanship is just amazing and out of this world. I spend so long with my nose to his prints. It was a long time since I was in a printshop, and I immediatley went over to the ink and sniffed it. Yes, this was glorious. I missed printing so much. I met Nick, and he was such a nice person. I was a bit clumsy because I hadn't spoken English in almost four months, and the suddent shock of speaking English and being in a printshop just shut down all auditory senses. Around the walls were students' work. It was so beautiful. He has taught them how to use color so well. I was so jealous and wanted to stay forever. I'm sure I will go back and hopefully take his class after I have saved enough money. After being in the shop Nels, myself, my boyfriend, and some of the students went for some vino. We had a long chat staring over the valley surrounding by the warm hue's of the Italian rooftops and buildings. It was paradise. Who could ask more for a beautiful town, friends, and a printshop.