My first outing was to St Brides Foundation Wayzgoose.
Firstly let me tell you what a Wayzgoose is!
A Wayzgoose was at one time an entertainment, outing or dinner for the workers of printing works, publishing houses or newspaper offices to the workmen each year on or about St Bartholomew’s Day (24 August). It marked the traditional end of summer and the start of the season of working by candlelight.
The tradition died out with time and new technology but is slowly returning in a different guise now as artists, print workshops, suppliers and fans of Letterpress printmaking gather together and buy/sell work, print related items and equipment, often with talks, discussions and lots of tea and cake.
I decided it was a good starting point as my aim was to partake in a course and a visit to the library for some research. I had contingency in my budget and it may also offer the chance to meet other printers I could visit.
There is a wonderful blog post HERE about the 2015 Wayzgoose at St Brides which shows perfectly what I encountered and the spirit of the lovely event.
I made it to the venue and a queue was starting to form. I felt a little anxious about what to expect but then a friendly face appeared – Rachel Marsh of SEMPLE PRESS whom I had met before and very kindly introduced me to
Armina Ghazaryan of TYPE and PRESS
John Christopher of FLOWERS and FLEURONS
All three artists whose work I greatly admire.
We chatted over tea after my introduction was greeted with an awareness and appreciation of my work. I was elated within at this recognition. I was encouraged and engaged with them discussing our passion for print, (with a little topical politics thrown in). I cannot thank them enough for making me feel welcome.
What had I been afraid of?
I managed to chat with Ron Caslon who had a display of ADANA printing presses all restored and now back on sale due to the resurgence of interest in Letterpress printing. He answered my technical questions and my own press though much older than these models moved in the same way was set and packed correctly and I taught myself how to do this. I was doing something else right.
Many other conversations took place, names put to faces and connections made. I also met Jean and Ron Watson of The BRITISH PRINTNG SOCIETY I am now a member and the monthly digests received are full of valuable information historically and technically.
With my various purchases and freebies of printing ephemera I left wearing my handmade newspaper PRINTERS HAT to return home happy, positive and excited about my printing,my next trip and not caring that I hadn’t won a raffle prize.