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WAYZGOOSE! invite_Page_1

YOU’RE INVITED!

Dateline: Studio Z Mendocino, 711 North Main Street, Fort Bragg, California, Mendocino Coast, Edge of the Continent Overlooking the Vast, Rocking Pacific, Storm Coming, 24 Foot Waves Expected —

It’s a crazy madhouse in the shop. The champagne and bean-feast is tomorrow and we are in the middle of a maelstrom of activity, and have been all week. Getting ready for two or three hundred party-ready people takes some preparation. The questions of what we want them to see when they walk up the street and in our door requires  discrimination and decisions. After all, twenty-five years of work is a lot of little pieces of paper, a lot of … just everything. Sorting through this history is an opportunity for introspection that you would not believe; I deeply feel  the import of this moment in my life.

A while ago I had an exhibit of work called “Generation X (Excuse Me, That’s No X) — Ten Years of Letterpress Printing In the Wrong Century.” Now it’s been a quarter of a century already, and I find myself poised at a Moment, a really superb moment. Looking back. Looking forward. I am feeling very happy today. I wish you could come to the party tomorrow and maybe you can.

Here is what a Wayzgoose is, in case you missed other posts. It is right off the invitation insert:

A wayzgoose has a long tradition in the history of printing. The first time we heard the word we had to look it up in the OED*. These days, a Wayzgoose is more often a dinner where letterpress printers gather to talk about the art they love, and believe me, that is some talking. A keepsake is often printed to commemorate the occasion, sometimes
printed up right at the affair, & there can be entertainment as well. Always ready for an excuse to throw a party, Studio Z Mendocino long ago adopted the idea, turning it into an appreciation of our customers & an opportunity to show off the beautiful craft we still get to practice.
“It is also customary for all the
Journey-men to make every
Year new Paper Windows…;
Because that day they make
them, the Master Printer gives
them a Way-goose; that is,
he makes them a good Feast,
and not only entertains them
at his own House, but besides,
gives them Money to spend
at the Ale-house or Tavern
at Night. These Way-gooses,
are always kept about
Bartholomew-tide. And till the
Master-Printer have given this
Way-goose, the Journey-men
do not use to Work by Candle
Light.”
*Oxford English Dictionary
“Carriages were chartered,
an enormous quantity of
eatables and drinkables
provided, and away we
went, a regular wayzgoose
or bean-feast party.”
The Cruise of the Cachalot, by
Frank T Bullen, 1897

When we saw the part about the “bean-feast,” we had to look that up in the OED too. It actually means a feast, but we decided that it meant beans, and that is what our tradition became. A bean-feast with actual beans, and we would spare no creativity in serving beans from every corner of the world. Everyone was very, “Oh, ho ho, beans and champagne!” but then they would just eat the whole feast up and drink up all the champagne, even though it was quite cheap champagne (which is what we serve instead of giving out money to go to the Ale-house), and a regular Wayzgoose was had by all, in Fort Bragg. Somehow, with all the printing and designing and whatnot, we let our Wazygoose tradition go by the wayside, but for our Twenty-fifth Anniversary, how could we not revive it? We won’t be making paper windows, nor printing by candlelight at the Studio Z Mendocino Wayzgoose, but there might be a lagniappe to take home, if all goes well. We certainly look forward to seeing you here, to showing you our recent work, to serving champagne and beans to you and to ushering in our next twenty-five years. We hope to greet you at our party.

WAYZGOOSE! invite_Page_3

One other thing we added to the fete is Dessert and Shopping downstairs. It’s going to be so much fun I can’t stand it.

If you would like to read more about our work and history you can see the interview Arjen Noordman just posted to his online magazine, Cranbrook Design http://cranbrookdesign.com/index.php/topics/more/letterpress_by_zida_borzich/

Wishing you every good thing in the world as I dash off to glue some more business cards on a board and bake another batch of chocolate chip cookies. Quarter of a Century… how did this happen???? !!!

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As part of the ad campaigns I have been creating for the Mendocino County Lodging Association and the newly named Visit Mendocino County, Inc. I was charged to design a 10 x 10 foot booth. Look!!

MCLABooth

It was design on a much bigger scale than usual (from business cards to billboards in 60 seconds) so it was a fun and interesting project for me. Mendocino County is overflowing with richness: our beautiful blue Pacific, of course, the interesting little towns and villages, the vineyards of our Anderson Valley wine country and our splendid redwoods — getting the message in a non-jumbled way is the trick. We used shots from our incredible local photographers, John Birchard and Rita Crane to tell the story.

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