Monday, June 23, 2014

APA Wayzgoose, Baby!

wayzgoose (ˈweɪzˌɡuːsn
1. (Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) a works outing made annually by a printing house
[C18: from earlier waygoose, of unknown origin]

Oh my heavens!  I went to my very first wayzgoose this past weekend!  What an amazing experience.  I attended the Amalgamated Printers' Association's wayzgoose right in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, only about 60 miles from me, at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum!

It was actually a four-day event (Thursday-Sunday), but I only went on Friday and Saturday.  On Friday, I took a wonderful class called "Weaving Type, Structure & Image" with Jessica Spring of Springtide Press in Tacoma and Jen Farrell of Starshaped Press in Chicago.  We created three wonderful projects!  The first was a little collaborative "meander" book, which is printed all on one side and then cut to make pages. There were 8 of us in the class, and we all chose a synonym for "wander", the name of the book. We were free to experiment with about 12 cabinets full of beautiful vintage wood type.  HEAVEN!!  I chose "ramble" as my word, and found a gorgeous type and border for my portion of the book.  Here's the uncut print:

I love how everyone's word is completely different!  We each had to "lock up" our own word, which was a new experience for me.  I had to measure picas and use "furniture", which was thrilling.  I felt like a real printer!  :D  Here is the back of the print, which would become the two "covers" of the book (sorry for the not-so-great photo!):

How cool is it that all of our names are included?  :D  Once we all had our words in place, Jessica measured the final piece and began inking.  As you can see, she did a beautiful two-color process.  Here is the finished book - it turned out SO cool!  What a lovely memento to have from the class!  :D

Our second project was to weave prints we created. Once again, we were given free reign over all of the available wood type!  I played with the letters and numbers, mixing up sizes and fonts for each line of type. Jen Farrell suggested that I experiment with the bottom of the wood blocks, for a fantastic effect.  Here are two of my finished prints, each printed with violet ink but using different paper colors.  The results were SO different!!

I didn't get around to weaving my prints.  Why?  Well, because Jessica wanted us to all take turns printing our book pages on the Vandercook press, just to get a feel for it.  Since most of the people there already own their own Vandercooks, I volunteered to help print the majority of the prints for the books.  I was happy to do it!  I've already done weaving with my prints, so this way others got to experience something they might not otherwise do (these folks are SERIOUS printers).

Our last project was a folding exercise - Jessica and Jen had printed out some great prints and then cut them down to about 6X6" squares.  We then made a little folded piece out of them!  You can see what I mean, here:  

As you probably have guessed, this was an all-day class!  We were all pretty pooped by the end of it.  All of the wonderful folks I met during my class (hi Erin, Nancy, Marjorie, Laurie, Gary, Mary Alice and Carol!) were from somewhere else - Phoenix, Tacoma, Cincinnati, Virginia, Santa Fe, Santa Barbara, CA - and one other Wisconsinite, from La Crosse - so they all stayed overnight.  I went home for the evening, but returned on Saturday for the...drum roll....swap meet and auction.  

It was FANTASTIC!  I bought a lot of wood and metal type, some awesome vintage blocks, some ink, some vintage trays, a couple of wonderful vintage books....and this beautiful little toy press for the ridiculously low price of TWENTY BUCKS!  The description says it's an Elm City toy press and by all accounts, I guess it really works!  I can't wait to try it out!   :D

I also got to meet Michelle Walker, who's the creator of the "Lovers of Letterpress" group on Facebook!  She and her husband George came all the way from Toronto (my fave city in the world!) to be at the event.  We were able to have lunch together and hang out during the auction!  How lovely!  :D

Now that I've got my first wayzgoose under my belt, I can't wait for Hamilton's very own, which is held every November!   But next up:  "Chipboard, Linoleum and other Reproduction Techniques" workshop with Dafi Kuhne this coming Saturday!   :D