In the sunny warmth of Barcelona, Spain holds a letterpress shop with a cheerful flavor and festive personality. Mònica and Germán, of La Trasteria (“Trastero” is Spanish for “lumber rooms” as the original space was intended for cut timber) are the power duo of printer & designer for the company, and you can find their work gracing worldwide art galleries and shows. The playful pair took a break from printing their dazzlingly detailed letterpress pieces to tour us around their shop. Olé!
THE PRESSES Just one, a beautiful Heidelberg Windmill lovingly named “La Pecosa” because it came to us fully splattered of ink after 54 years of service. We are looking for a proof press to make the family bigger.
SIZE OF PRINT SHOP We have a 322 sq ft workshop and 129 sq ft studio.
TYPE OF SHOP Our workspace is located in a town near to Barcelona. We have restored two old storage rooms surrounding our house’s garden to set up “La Trastería”.
THE LOCATION One of our favorite thing about the shop is that you can find a lot of things full of history in every corner. We found a lot of useful stuff while we arranged the workshop.
FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE SHOP Choosing one could be difficult, but maybe the most atypical thing could be an old book called “Hints for the pressman”. The fact that we live far from the city keeps us creative and comfortable, we feel more comfy with a quiet life style.
NUMBER OF PRINTERS IN SPACE As we are working in our own house, it is a private space. I am the printer (Mònica) but Germán helps me whenever I need him!
MOST VALUABLE SHOP TOOL A flathead screwdriver, a depth ruler and an apron.
FAVORITE INK We print with Martinez Ayala inks, they are made here in Spain. We have no favorite color, we love all of them, but it seems that a big range of turquoise is in its wave.
SOLVENT OF CHOICE With just one press we have a tiny workshop, so clean up is not a big problem if you keep your workspace arranged after using it. Besides cleaning our Windmill is not hard to do. We use Varn’s Primula Wash.
PLATE AND BASE OF CHOICE During the first year of La Trastería we have been using a 9×12 inch boxcar base with Jet plates.
OIL OF CHOICE 30 weight non-detergent oil. Works awesome!
WHAT TYPE OF RAGS DO YOU CLEAN UP YOUR PRESSES WITH We use recycled cotton rags. They work well and keep away dust and particles from our rollers.
FLOORING MATERIAL A dark grey poreless tilling floor, it’s very easy to clean!
FLOOR PLAN TIPS The main thing for us is to have all machines in a small perimeter, it helps us to clean faster. When the day is over, we just have to sweep and mop the floor. 10 minutes and ready!
PIED TYPE We don’t have any type because we don’t use it. We would like have some big old wood type but it’s hard to find!
ORGANIZATION ADVICE Keep it clean and clear. Clean and put back to their place every tool once it has been used.
PRINTING ADVICE It’s not a secret, in the beginning, when we were learning, we wished to have an experienced person telling us: “Don’t be discouraged, come on, it’s just that the press you have must be perfectly adjusted”. If something doesn’t work, take a deep breath and look for the solution in the simplest things. Once everything is in place, the press will run perfectly.