The 30th Annual Grimsby Wayzgoose

It’s been a while, and I think my blog voice is a bit rusty, but here goes. Over the next few blogs, I’m going to report on the final production of the latest letterpress project from Greyweathers Press, The Vampire and the Seventh Daughter (V&7thD), working backward from the launch.

First, the background. A week ago Thursday, April 24th, I sewed up four copies of V&7thD and packed them up for the Wayzgoose. On Friday, Holly and I piled everything and ourselves into the Mini Cooper and hit the road for Grimsby, a scenic town located about 20 minutes past Hamilton on the Niagara Peninsula. The Grimsby Library and Gallery has been home to the Waygoose Book Arts show and sale for 30 years, ever since letterpress veteran Bill Poole of Poole Hall Press established it to give fine press printers a venue to sell their work and to visit with each other. The term ‘wayzgoose’ is an old one, and there are a plethora of reported origins. Whatever the case may be, it was a gathering of printers and related trades (paper makers, bookbinders, type casters, etc.), mainly to have a big party, an activity at which printers have been known to excel.

There. That’s the background.

How can I describe the Wayzgoose? When writing about the antiques business, I would refer to this type of show as a ‘table’ show, meaning exhibitors rented tables and spread their wares over them, as opposed to the more involved booth show, where exhibitors set up hard walls and pedestals for display. Table shows are easy to set up and quick to tear down, so it makes for a good experience all round.

To say that a table show is easy is not to say it’s cheap. Some table tops contained some exquisite examples of fine press and bookbinding amongst other treasures. Take for example George Walker’s latest work, Book of Hours, a wordless novel in 99 wood engravings telling the very personal, very ordinary stories of workers beginning their day right up to the moment the first airplane hit the first tower on September 11, 2001. At $1,000 per copy, I don’t expect any of the ten copies to remain available long. George sold one at the show.

The Wayzgoose enjoyed strong attendance for most of the day, and all the vendors enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and a delicious dinner together afterwards. Very civilized.

As for V&7thD, all four of the bound copies I took with me sold, so I’m happy about that. I’ve sold another since. The book and its topic seem to be popular with artists and those with some goth in their make-up. Holly sold most of the notepads she made prior to the show. They were like miniature paintings!

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Explore posts in the same categories: Letterpress printing, Shows

One Comment on “The 30th Annual Grimsby Wayzgoose”


  1. You showed beautiful works of art at this Wayzgoose. I’m looking at photos from it now, working on a feature article for our spring issue of Escarpment Views. I hope to email you about this separately.


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