- The Wayzgoose Affair
Wayzgoose Press, Katoomba, 2007.
Folio hardcover; black Toyo Saifu cloth boards with blind-stamped spine titling and upper board insignia, endpapers illustrated in colour; 177pp., colour illustrations. Limited edition of 500 copies. Fine in red and black dustwrapper. This is the story of the Wayzgoose Press, a prestigious small press established in the Blue Mountains in 1985. To date the press has produced 20 books and 50 broadsides in limited editions of between 10 and 50 copies, as well as numerous ephemeral paintings. All texts are hand set, illustrated with relief imagery (wood engravings, linocuts, monoprints and collographs), printed on a proof press and hand-bound or hand-assembled and housed in a purpose-made box. A small number of copies from each edition are enclosed in a designer binding which, like the so called edition bindings, have very little in common with traditional book binding. Every aspect of production, sometimes even the writing, takes place in house, or, more precisely, in shed. 'Wayzgoose' is an old English word referring to the annual printers' picnic - as ironically the press found that printing by hand 'ain't no picnic'. Incorporated into its production - the book artists armoury - typography, layout, colour, design, illustrations, textures, binding etc., are all used to give the printed word an individual presence through a tangible, creative and germane setting. A love of black humour and the occasional profanities (Ockers) add textual meat and an element of adventure to their publications, together with the visual puns, the symbolism, literary references and the vibrant colour. In compiling the Wayzgoose Affair, the author has used excerpts from her correspondence with friends, colleagues, supporters and occasionally detractors, to compile an instructive and amusing story. She records the setbacks, successes, irritations and even disasters with a wicked wit and an often critical perceptiveness.
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