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La Fragua: Tipografía Workshop

the work of one of the other participants (click to enlarge)

My residency was supposed to end of Nov 9 – one month after I got there. But shortly after I arrived I realized a couple things: I love Spain, I am more and more intrigued by illustration, and an illustrator from Madrid was coming to La Fragua to each a workshop the weekend after I was supposed to leave. So I decided to stay another 5 days. Then my mom decided to come visit. So along with teaching my workshop for two afternoons last week and my mom and I also participated in Tipografía with Silja Goetz

participants and teacherSilja is an illustrator and has a lovely resume of big names who have published her work. And along with being good at what she does, she is also a lovely person. I always appreciate meeting people who couple talent with warmth and a willingness to encourage others. Silja guided us through creating a-typical typography and willingly gave feedback throughout the process. 

working on our typography projects and enjoying the beautiful weather

student workstudent work (click to enlarge)

I was feeling a little melancholy about leaving Spain and the pueblo, so the phrases the end and the beginning came to me. This past weekend felt like the end of so much and the beginning of so much. The end of Spain, spanish, my residency, and my time abroad. And yet everything feels like it is just beginning. My work is beginning to take form and my time in my residency gave it momentum. 

I feel like my time in Spain has given me so much. When I think about it phrases come into my head like: Spain has given me wings to fly; Spain has given me legs to walk on, Spain has given me a path to follow, Spain has given me a boat to sail in. All of these things are a start. The start of a journey. This is the beginning as well as the end. 

(click to enlarge)(click to enlarge) 

And so my typography is rich with metaphor. I created the beginning from seeds piled up between rows of new sprouts of wheat. I created el fin (“the end” in spanish) from the curly tips of dead plants on stone. And the earth seemed to acknowledge my meaning. el fin blew away and the seeds of the beginning were carted off by ants – food for the masses. There is such power in metaphor. 

blown away and carried away (click to enlarge)

My mom took advantage of the warm weather and extended growing season. She created GROW from stones and planted flowers in the letters. 

grow by my mom

Mid-day on Saturday we got the change to see the cloisters of the convent. Really special.

On the last day we did a group project. Each participant was given a letter of L-A F-R-A-G-U-A and a uniform size to work with. I decided to capture La Fragua in drawing for my letter A (and thus to practice drawing because it still terrifies me). I drew the buildings most significant to my time there: the convent, the garden, the workshop, my house, the pilar (washing pool), the castle, and a few shops I frequented. In the end I was quite proud. Yet again I had surprised myself and wondered why drawing scares me so. 

my A (click to enlarge)

My mom, of course, did what she does best and created a beautiful garland of flowers and leaves for her U. 

a rough idea of what it looked like all together

We had a lot of fun just hanging out too. The energy of the place and the participants was relaxed and playful. I took some video footage to try to capture the moments. 


In short, the weekend workshop was wonderful. Totally worth staying for. 

La Fragua: I say hello, you say goodbye.

Travels in Spain with Mom