Tacoma Wayzgoose

By Morf Morford, Tacoma Daily Index

It’s the season for another Tacoma specific event

The past couple years have disrupted many gatherings and traditions from travel to outdoors and public activities.

One of these events making its way back into our public awareness is Tacoma’s Wayzgoose. After a break for a couple years, to put it simply, Tacoma Wayzgoose is back.

What is Wayzgoose?

If you like the look and feel of hand-crafted, self-made art on rough-edged paper, you will love this exploration and expression of community letterpress, print making, and book arts creation.

This is your opportunity to meet local printers and view their wares, print your own keepsakes, make paper and bind books. Among many other things.

Or you could bring any other potentially printable surface. Before you go, look through your plain-colored T-shirts, sheets, banners or anything else you think might be improved by a splash of color or short text. You just might discover that hidden artist within your family. Or yourself.

A traditional highlight of the gathering is steamroller printing, where local artists carve 2 x 3-foot sheets of linoleum and print on giant paper using, yes, a full-sized steamroller.

From screen-printing to full-sized posters, or kid-sized (or shaped) calling cards, or one-of-a-kind bumper stickers, print and color can take on a multitude of new and unpredictable shapes and textures.

This is the ultimate all ages, all skill levels and all levels of mess, creativity and improvisational event.

Prepare for ink, rich textures and creativity emerging where (and from whom) you might have never expected it. For further information, check out the website here – www.tacomawayzgoose.com.

Who is behind this?

Sponsors and supporters include names and agencies you may have heard of, and many you may have not. Yet. Among these are the Tacoma Arts Commission, Alchemy Skateboarding, Beautiful Angle, Blue Lady Press, Charles Wright Academy, Coxswain Press, KTA Studio, Lincoln HS, SAMI HS and several others.

Image courtesy Beautiful Angle

At a new location this year

For several years Tacoma Wayzgoose has been held in the parking lot between King’s Books and Doyles Public House at 208 St. Helens Avenue in downtown Tacoma. For the first time, in 2023, Tacoma Wayzgoose will be held at the Moore Branch of Tacoma Public Library at 215 S. 56th Street.

Print is not dead

If you have the feeling that everything is digital, with passwords, paywalls, flickering screens and finicky batteries, you might find some relief and refuge in the world of the hand-negotiated printed page where images, besides being made by hand, stand still and resonate IRL (In Real Life).

You can join the creative gathering April 15, 2023, 11:00am to 4:00pm. If you want to see what Wayzgoose has looked like in previous years, take a look here – www.tacomawayzgoose.com/history.

Or lend a hand

As you might guess, an event like this takes all manner of helping hands to set-up, guide, clean up, prepare, staff the Waygoose info booth, greet and check in volunteers, direct inquiries, oversee the equipment swap, sell t-shirts and tickets, and generally direct traffic on the site.

If you have prior printing experience, there will be opportunities to help with screen printing T-shirts or inking the linoleum steamroller print blocks.

Whatever your level of interest or expertise, once you experience it, Tacoma Wayzgoose is likely to become a regular feature of your life from now on.

The word Wayzgoose, by the way, does not have much connection to geese. Wayzgoose was originally a book-centered celebration where the local printing guilds welcomed the community to their festivities and the opportunity to sample their wares, and perhaps join them for the day or for a career. And this gathering often included goose on the menu.