Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wayzgoose 2014

I never know what I'll see at Hamilton Wood Type Museum's annual Wayzgoose gathering. This year it was a report on a paper-making project in Ghana, images and ideas from a letterpress shop in Nashville that does public art, a talk about how the museum's small staff and a gaggle of volunteers moved the museum in just five months, and a virtual visit to the Tipoteca Italiana, a printing and wood type museum located a few hours from Venice, Italy.

My photos this year are not so much about the presentations as they have been in the past, although there was one by collector Greg Walter about the use of bas-relief watermarks in handmade paper that I managed to get some shots of. Often, the watermarks are meant as stand-alone works of art, particularly in Italy and Japan, or as commemoratives to honor famous people like Charles Lindbergh just after his transatlantic flight:

But the ones that fascinated me the most were on currency, including these two:

A ruble note with an image of Lenin showing through.

A bill from Suriname with a toucan peeking out of the right side.

Other than that, I mostly recorded a few of the printed pieces that decorate the walls of the museum:

This poster marks the creation of the new wood typeface, Artz, by Erik Spiekermann. It's named in honor of one of the people who was employed by Hamilton to trim the wood type while it was still in regular production (which ended in the early 1990s).

I particularly like the overlapping transparent yellow and pink inks on this poster.

Three colors printed on brown kraft cardstock. Somehow, the art reminds me just a bit of the serpent in the Garden of Eden...

And black ink (appropriately) on chipboard.

The wall of wood type was recently reassembled in the museum's new space. It's hard to get it all one shot, so this will have to do:

Pretty stunning in person.

And one last thing, this beautiful sign:

It used to grace a printing business in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It was hand-painted by the proprietor, and only recently came into the museum's collection. (His sons Jim and Bill are the director and artistic director of the museum, respectively.)

If you're ever anywhere near Milwaukee or Sheboygan, or heading up to Door County, Wisconsin -- check out the Hamilton. It's worth a trip.


Past posts about the Wayzgoose, which I've been attending for five years.

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