Wayzgoose Steamrolls Into the Woolworth Windows

IMG_5209Giant steamroller prints from the 12th Annual Tacoma Wayzgoose Festival are on view in the Woolworth Windows, S. 11th and Broadway in downtown Tacoma through Nov. 17, 2016.

Artwork by Jessica Spring and Chandler O’Leary. Spaceworks photo

So, what is a wayzgoose, and what is a steamroller print, you ask? According to Wikipedia, “Wayzgoose was at one time an entertainment given by a master printer to his 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 date is significant: “On August 24, 1456 the printing of the Gutenberg Bible was completed, perhaps triggering the very first wayzgoose party at Fust–Schöffer shop in Mainz [Germany].”

A less formal guild of Tacoma print artists has updated medieval tradition with their annual letterpress and book arts festival held at King’s Books. A highlight of the weekend event, founded by Jessica Spring (Springtide Press) and bookstore owner sweet pea Flaherty, is making steamroller prints where artists carve 3′ x 3′ linoleum and print on huge sheets of paper using a steamroller as a printing press. The event was designed to showcase the paper arts and to get the public interested and involved in handprinting and bookmaking.

Artist Brian Hutcheson pays tribute to author Dashiell Hammett. Spaceworks photo

Artists participating in the 12th annual Wayzgoose included Brian Hutcheson, CLAW, Maggie Roberts, Chandler O’Leary & Jessica Spring, Candy Teeth Creative, Charles Wright Academy, Carrie Foster, Chris Sharp, Beautiful Angle, Katie Dean and Stadium High School. The art on display pays tribute to writers including Dashiell Hammett and Frank Herbert. Check out this fab exhibition and see just what those printmakers are up to when burning the tallow at both ends!

The 2016 Wayzgoose Festival posters are on view at the Woolworth Windows, S. 11th and Broadway through Nov. 17, 2016.