The Road to Pergamino

I’ve been traveling a lot recently for my job. It is hard to complain about going to nice places and meeting with interesting and smart people. In the past few months, I’ve gone to a conference at Penn State University, two different meetings in Washington DC, and a conference in Los Angeles. And now I’m writing this blog on a bus traveling from Buenos Aires to Pergamino, Argentina.

¡El camino hacia el pergamino!

I’m teaching students in Buenos Aires about the basics of NMR. My arms are the nuclei of atoms (if you couldn’t already tell…)

Last week I helped teach a metabolomics workshop to graduate students and postdocs in Buenos Aires. These are always fun but also a lot of work! I taught about 4 hours each day for the week and also spent extra time in the class meeting students and listening to other lectures. I’ve done several of these workshops over the years in different places, and no matter how much I prepare before, I’m always making last minute changes in my hotel room during the nights. Yes, I’m very lucky to be able to travel to one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Yes, I really enjoy the great restaurants and nice wine. But, it is hard work and can get very tiring. Normally, I’d be heading to the airport now to return home.

Five years ago my wife and I spent 6 weeks in Argentina on a trip sponsored by a Fulbright grant. Argentina has the best rawhide braiders in the world, and during that trip, I tried to arrange time in a workshop of a gaucho rawhide braiding expert, but I never was able to do it. My good friend Jorge, who hosted the last visit, has a brother who collects and shows gaucho equipment, and this time he found a master braider, Maximo (Machi) Prado, who would give me lessons.

maximo prado
AMAZING braiding art by my teacher in Pergamino, Maximo (Machi) Prado.

I’m now sitting in a bus listening to conversations in Spanish and some nice Argentinean music on someone’s boom box. I will soon meet Machi, and he will teach me gaucho rawhide braiding in his shop in Pergamino for the next 4 days! I couldn’t be happier or more excited! Stay tuned for updates.


Author: edisonleatherworks

I'm a biochemistry professor and leatherworker who likes bicycles, travel, art, education, and music. Walking is my favorite form of transportation, and I regularly practice Tai Chi.

9 thoughts

  1. Sounds awesome Art! I’ll always remember you patiently teaching me about NMR and metabolomics. Those students are lucky, as was I! Hope the braiding lessons are inspiring and enjoyable.

  2. Hi Art,

    What a neat sequel to your teaching stint. The braiding work is just amazing. I have never seen anything like it? How long do you think it took him to do that piece?

    I love your blogs!

    Sent from my iPad

    1. Hi Tony, thanks for the nice feedback. Now that I’ve had 2 days of classes with Machi, I’m even more impressed than before with his skill and what is involved. I’m about halfway through a much simpler handle, and it is very complex. I’ll make a blog post sometime soon about it. Regards, Art

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