Tacoma’s a hotbed for the print arts, and there’s nothing to show it quite like the annual Wayzgoose at King’s Books. The Wayzgoose – a medieval term for the annual feast given by a master printer for his employees – is now in its 8th year and humming as much as ever, with a festival involving local artists, giant steamroller prints and, new this year, a mobile print truck, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. this Sunday.
Here’s a disclaimer: My daughter’s actually one of the participants this year, selling her hand-made fashion-based cards. But I see that as a symbol of the Wayzgoose’s success. Year after year my kids have come with me to this event, stamping and printing and embossing their way around the circle of artist vendors, making their own enormous letterpress posters (always slightly off-center!) in inventive colors and gaping at the hand-made paper dripping in the sun, the enormous prints made by the steamroller chugging along St. Helens Avenue over a blanketed woodcut, and generally reveling in all things paper and print.
And now that reveling has inspired their own art and originality, which is in fact how Tacoma’s letterpress community has been building over the last decade: longtime artists like Jessica Spring, Chris Sharp and Beautiful Angle teaching others and drawing us all into this esoteric, old-fashioned art.
New this year is Kyle Durrie and her Type Truck, a traveling letterpress shop that carries a full press plus thousands of those gorgeous little lead type pieces that usually make this art so non-portable. There’ll also be the papermakers from L’Arche and plenty of artists both selling and letting you make your own stuff.
11 a.m.-4 p.m. April 22. Free. King’s Books, 218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma. 253-272-8801, kingsbookstore.com