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Posts Tagged ‘Wayzgoose’

711 North Main — Overdressed for the Par-tay

The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Wayzgoose of Studio Z Mendocino took place on November 6th, but I am still in LOVE with what happened at it, so here is the lowdown, a little late, but oh well. In a nutshell: A zillion people came. It was fantastic.

I have been waiting for the photos to come back from my very busy brother in law, Hugh Smith, and they arrived yesterday. He took all the photos in this post. THANK YOU, Hugh!! You can see his amazing wild mushroom web site at HughSmith.com.

I got so many beautiful  thank you notes and  impressions of the Wayzgoose, so decided to tell this story in the words of a few of my guests:

Ed and Jen put up a zillion lights so we glowed like a Wayzgoose beacon in the nightl

From Judy Tarbell: What do you do in the presence of twenty-five years of creativity of a beautiful woman: tear up so it’s difficult to see the images; go upstairs to get a drink; dance to Zida’s powerfully lovely voice; return, champagne in hand, to the images, the poetry, the accomplishments of Zida’s life lived well and fully; rejoice that there is more to come.

The Shop, Festooned with Printing from 25 Years of Work, & Celebratory Guests Galore

From Erica Fielder, eco-artist, dear Libra sidekick and bringer of the tofu curry pate: Your Wayzgoose event was filled with light and laughter and very fun people. I saw folks there I had not seen in 10 years. Wonderful surprises like Beans and Champagne. What a pairing!Then Zida sang passionately with her eyes closed. We  danced, and a beautiful couple gazed into one another’s eyes. I felt so blessed to be there. Love, E

John & Daurine Braet brought me a silver family heirloom as a silver anniversary present. Displays of Letterpress & other printing along every wall and hanging from the rafters

From the Splendid Cammie King Conlon, who brought me her book Bonnie Blue Butler (whom she played in Gone With The Wind at the age of Five — a GREAT read!!!) Darling Zida: My mother would have had a heart attack knowing I was sending a thank-you note via email.  How rude!  But it might not get to you otherwise.Smashing party.  Wondrous Wayzgoose!  You are such a class act:  everything was original and personal and delightful.  The house looked spectacular.  Thank you so much for including  … Cammie

My Beautiful Ed and My Beautiful Creeolleee…

Carole King, my best friend in first grade, came all the way from Oakland. Imagine!

From Carole King, my best friend in First Grade: About the waysgooze: i knew it would be a great party before i entered: the rows and rows of lights lit up the yellow house like a little sun, even in the dark. i knew too that there would be good company, big hugs from you and ed, excellent food, the best “cheap champagne” around, maybe some torch songs, and a party mood. you always give memorable parties, but this one was even more special because all around were the  beautiful examples of your work and progression through the 25 years of the letterpress. the mission statement near the door (dennis read it and said, “zida has poetic ability”-and he hasn’t even read your poetry yet),the witty and touching cards,  the wine labels, invitations to events great and small, proclamations of all kinds, business cards like little works of art. it adds up to an exceptional career built with passion and talent by my exceptional friend. love, creolee.


Steve Paul accidentally brought his trumpet. That’s me hitting a note next to my great friend Jon Solow, who is also a dreamy sax player. Who ever heard of torch singing at a Wazygoose???


Pam Amante with Michael Brown. Pam sent me the most beautiful bouquet in the history of the world. She is my “other” sis! The bouquet came in the door at the stroke of 5, then Pam and husban Dan came as my very first guests. I had been worrying about having a party and nobody coming but that was not a problem at this one!

What a fun and fantastic party!  I never thought beans and champagne could be so fabulous! Pam
Beachcomber Motel On The Beach!

Pianista Lisa Stedman & Printer Extraordinaire, Rhea Rhynearson

Rhea printed up lagniappes for our guests: “Business Cards” that said things like: “My card, Sir! I’m a pretty good bullshitter myself but it’s a rare treat to encounter one of your caliber.” and “Is GROOVY still in?” and “It’s all good.” and”Watch your Ps and Qs.” If you want one, call us or come in…we still have lots. Collect the set!

Son-in-law Noah, David Marks, artist Julie Higgins, and my little Zoe

Riantee and Maggie O’Rourke

My Beautiful Zoe (right) had a ton of her invitations and designs up on display too. She is not only a genius, as you can see.

Carla Frazier and Richard Anderson. Richard brought his spectacular Fejoada

Yeah! Ayn Ruyman Being Ayn Ruyman

David in backgroud, Moonlight, Jim Tarbell yukking it up at the Party

Vicki & Amy

Favorite artist and great friend, Bob Ross, who had so much to do with encouraging me to open my own shop, in 1984, and fabulous artist and pure jazz bass player, Nina Mera

Ken Wun brought me the most exquisite and huge present: a photograph by HIM. I put it right up in my office where I get to look at it all the time. It is stunning.

My darling Kris Reiber and granddaughter Sara Rose. Kris made mole beans to die for.

Lots of biz cards on display, including my own!

Did we say YUM??? Beans make you say that!


Linda Friedman took over downstairs and made it into a vision of loveliness and a little paper boutique while schmoozing it up with the paper-loving shoppers

Zoe & Auntie Sandi (wherever Sandi is, that’s a Party)

It’s a Family Affair…Joe and Sandi at the “Bar”


Jazzmen Steve Paul and Jon Solow…also yum!

Belting Printer with Point Arena Jon on keyboards

Rox, my sister-out-law, and Karen, came all the way from the Bay Area too xoxoxo!!

Christmas-ready front steps by Ed Murrell & Jen Heebink

Enraptured Me, with my friend, Taylor Slevin

I am so happy and grateful to everyone who participated in the preparations. Joe and Rhea and Linda Friedman, first, for the mighty efforts at getting the shop ready for over 200 guests. THAT was a feat! And Ed and Jen Heebink, who together transformed the outside of the shop into what you see above…a big, glowing beacon to party-goers who wandered up from town. To Zoe and Maia and Kris and Erica and Judy and Richard Anderson and Ed (again) and Joe (not to mention my Tuscan beans with sage nor my buttered black bean dal) for their contributions to the Bean-Feast and Dessert Table — Yum. People are still raving about the bountiful international array of beans and champagne. You would think it was Dinner at Chez Panisse, the way they talked. To Linda F. (again), for visualizing the downstairs as a shopping spree gallery and Joe (again) for putting up the “Christo Wall of Butcher Paper” and making it so welcoming and pretty.

OK, when I looked up and people had spontaneously combusted into dancing…that was IT! Jim & Judy, “That’s my Sistah” Sandi, and Creeolee’s husband, Dennis, tripping the light fantastic to me singing “Since I Fell for You” or something…


Bartender, with Paper Cutter

Brother Joe did the honors with the Cheap Champagne

And many thanks to our beautiful Christina, who just came in and made herself useful in every way without anybody telling her what needed to happen.

Also, tremendously, to Jon Solow and Steve Paul, who came with piano and cornet and changed the atmosphere to a little bit of a jazz-club-cum-printshop with their extemporaneous, cool playing, and accompanying me on a few tunes too. And of course, a party cannot be a par-tay without guests, so I thank everyone who came to celebrate at the shop, ate beans and drank champagne, appreciated the distillation of twenty-five years of work displayed along all the walls and hanging on lines across the width of the shop above our heads (Zoe’s idea). It was a beautiful collaboration and a beautiful community love-fest. I couldn’t ask for a better fete for my Silver Anniversary of being in business.

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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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Lead-Type-Suzannah

This is what lead type looks like when it is set, left to right, upside down, one letter at a time.

This morning Arjen Noordman, a fantastic designer from Brooklyn, posted an interview with me that, if you are interested in design or letterpress printing or a bit of historical perspective, may be of interest to you.

It’s such perfect timing because November First is the official anniversary of opening my shop twenty-five years ago. I am feeling so nostalgic! Don’t forget to come to our Wayzgoose on Friday, November 6th, from 5 to 8, at the Studio Z Mendocino print shop, 711 North Main, Fort Bragg.

Here is the link to Cranbrook Design’s site and the entire interview:

http://cranbrookdesign.com/index.php/topics/more/letterpress_by_zida_borzich/

Here is the invitation to the Wayzgoose, too, for good measure.

Arjen photos 163

The Wayzgoose Invitation, letterpress printed in three colors, mounted on red paper.

We are all madly cleaning and planning and cooking for the party on next Friday. I am contemplating this quarter century of doing work I love very much. It’s a time for going inward, for remembering and appreciating, and for looking forward too, planning and dreaming… Such a richness.

Hope you enjoy the interview!

Z

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WAYZGOOSE! 2009_Page_1

WAYZGOOSE! 2009_Page_3WAYZGOOSE! 2009_Page_4WAYZGOOSE! 2009_Page_5

We just stuffed all the envelopes and put the stamps on and it was like a bubbling cauldron of activity in the shop today. The invitations are going to land in a bunch of people’s mailboxes in the next day or two. Are you all excited???

They are so HAPPPPPPYYY! They are so GAaaaY!!! They are ICONOCLASTIC and not PLASTIC. They are SUPER FUNNNN, just like my Wayzgoose is going to be. O gee…I am really getting excited about this. It’s going to be a mob scene at the print shop. It’s going to be a big ho ho ho 25-year celebration party of being in business and doing letterpress printing and beautiful designs and ad campaigns and ephemera and the craziest things, and having the most interesting clients and the greatest time in the world for all these years. Well, we hope you will come on Friday, November sixth, and have champagne and beans and see our work, and celebrate with us. If you can’t come in person, you can see some of our work here on the blog  and on our web site (that is ALMOST finished being redesigned so please excuse our construction zone over there).

Let us know if there is anything your heart has been hankering for, like a fancy new business card or Christmas cards specially designed just for you. Or perhaps someone in your family is getting married next year and needs a gorgeous wedding invitation. We can do all that and lots more.

If you want one of our letterpress printed invitations to the Wayzgoose and don’t get one in the next week, please write us a comment here, or send an email, that includes your name and address, and we will be sure to send yours out right away.

Oh…still don’t know what a Wayzgoose is? See my blog post from October 3  that gives a little historical perspective.

I hope you can come to our party!!!

Z

Save

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C&P

We are throwing a Wayzgoose this year. It’s going to be in my shop in Fort Bragg on First Friday, November 6th, starting at 5 pm. Several people may ask the question, What’s a Wayzgoose? In the olden days of printing, it was a printers party; the print shop boss would take his crew out into the country for a big picnic or feast to celebrate, around the time of Saint Bartholemew’s Eve, marking the time of when they would have to start printing by candlelight.

Here is a quote from the OED: “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

And here is another quote about Wayzgooses:

“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

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 Oxford English Dictionary. Then, we proceeded to throw a whole series of Wayzgooses, with different themes each year.

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.

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 on November 6th, 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.

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This is our little 1927 hand fed C&P (stands for Chandler & Price) printing press. We still use it now and then. It’s like one of those really feisty old grandmas who like to wear sneakers and go to parties…

C&P

I am having a Wayzgoose this year, to celebrate my twenty-fifth year in business. It will be held in my shop in Fort Bragg, on First Friday, November 6th. Sometime I will tell you what a Wayzgoose is, but you can look it up in the OED if curiosity won’t leave you alone. I’m too busy to go into it right now.

I was just writing a comment on a blog that put one of our business cards on a list of twenty outstanding letterpress business cards — http://bestdesignoptions.com/?p=5384#comment-7802

The author spoke about “ramming” the type into paper and I had to add this to his description:

Having been at this for 35 years, I have seen a lot of changes in the way letterpress is done. When I started, we just hand set everything in lead, one letter at a time, into a composing stick. I still have many zillions of pounds of type at my shop in Fort Bragg, California, if you are looking for any. (I have to sell some of it to make room for a new imagesetter, so call me up if you are interested.) Each letter is a separate piece of metal, so designing was REALLY hand crafted. In the process of my apprenticeship, the way type looks and acts was actually imprinted into the muscles of my fingers, so that when I started doing computer designing, the look of my design work retained the letterpress aesthetic very naturally through knowing spacing quite thoroughly in my body. It’s so exciting to see how letterpress style has developed over time and with the advent of photopolymer plates and younger artists coming into the craft, influences of modern graphic design, MTV, grunge and whatnot showing up in this living artform.

In those days, the idea was just to “kiss” the paper with the raised type, so barely any impression showed. You can see this effect in old letterpress books; you have to hold the printing in bright light and sideways to it to even see any impression at all. This was to make the type last, as they used to say, “for the life of the printer.”

When I came to the craft, many type foundries were still in business, though much of the letterpress business had lost out to more modern methods of offset printing. You must notice that since Gutenberg developed movable type, taking business away from the scribes and putting reading in the hands of ordinary people (royalty and rich people were up in arms about this and the scribes were up in arms about losing their jobs), printing has been this dynamic, inventive, ever-evolving thing, with digital printing now taking over where offset left off (offset printers are up in arms about this). It’s always a big revolution, but I have been so out of the mainstream that I once had a show called “Ten Years of Letterpress Printing In the Wrong Decade.” Now look what’s happened. Letterpress is so back in style they are blogging about it. Even I am blogging about it.

When I opened my own business, in 1984 (yes, this is my 25th anniversary), type foundries had already started to go under and I have seen almost all but a handful go extinct. Most of my lead type is now on its second or third printer’s life anyway. But every impression takes a little toll on the soft lead/tin/antimony pieces of type, so we used to really try to protect it from smashing, or ramming, as you say. It was a point of pride not to let the impression show too much. Nowadays, of course, people really put way too much impression on, but that is the style and I am all about style so we do it too, and I have started to embrace the look very much. I mean, if you are going to pay a dollar a piece for your business cards, you really want people to know it is letterpress! Letterpress has taken on a much more sculptural intention, the message is in the sculpture as well as in the actual information conveyed so you have this incredible amount of juju in a very tiny piece of paper.

We also never, EVER used to do big solids with dropped out type, but have been forced kicking and screaming to that as well, and now we do love the look, though technically, it is a harder thing to make it work and usually will have to be run separately from finer type so the fine type is not mushed up by the extra ink you have to carry for heavy coverage. We have been loving Cranes 600 gram Lettra, of course, for it’s cracker-thick weight, so it can take that kind of pressure without too much flicker on the back, as well as black and other colors of heaviest Museum Mount. My friend asked me why we just didn’t print along the edges, there is so much room there.

Wdcut Flower Pot

Anyway, I am going on too long for a sound byte (!) but was very inspired by these twenty beautiful pieces of art. I am so proud of belonging to this newly revered coven of letterpressers (letterpress is often called The Black Art, and anyone who does this work really knows what that means). I have seen its popularity rise and ebb a few times, and always just loved it so much every single day. It is some kind of magical thing, and has its own power, which is what people feel when they are handed a business card with such richness of art, beauty, history and craftsmanship layered into it.

Very best,
Zida Borcich
Studio Z Mendocino
www.studio-z.com
https://studiozmendocino.wordpress.com

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