Peter and Donna Thomas have been making fine press and artist's books for over 40 years. When they started, as craftspeople at Renaissance Faires, they fell in love with the graceful beauty of "gypsy wagon" caravans that other vendors had made to sleep in or use as booths for selling their wares. In 2009 Peter and Donna built their own tiny home on wheels, designed after a typical late 19th century Redding Wagon. This blog documents their trips around the country, taken to sell their artists' books, teach book arts workshops, and talk about making books as art; as well as to seek out and experience the beauty of the many different landscapes found across the USA.

Peter and Donna started their business in 1977 and made their first book in 1978, so from 2017-18 are traveling to celebrate 40 years of making books with shows in a dozen libraries across the country. See the schedule on the side bar to find if they are coming to a town near you....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

where do gypsy book artists bathe?

Things you may take for granted, like flushing toilets, electric lights, refrigeration and hot showers are things that the gypsy book artist must take into consideration all the time. Luckily, librarians like Judy Harvey Sahak was thoughtful enough to think about these things for us yesterday. She had a parking spot arranged for us when we got to Scripps Denison Library. Peter learned how to parallel park with a trailer, and when we were in, instantly a crowd gathered to see inside Paloma. I think the visiting parents enjoyed the wagon more than the prospective high school students! The books were shown to the librarians in Claremont Colleges, then they arranged for us to spend the night on the streets of the college! Security were very curious about the wagon too, and "checked" on us all evening. In the morning, we had passes to the gymnasium for showers! (Now that was WAY NICER than the sponge bath of the last 3 days). Two pics show us parked at Scripps.
On Sunday morning, we taught a book arts class at Otis Art Institute. Well, really they took a field trip to Paloma and we had 6 students and teacher inside the wagon! Peter talked, sang ukulele book arts songs and generally talked about the wonders of this penultimate art form, the book.
They were thoughtful enough to bring us drinks and muffins and scones!


cherylfazzini said...

Wow Donna the inside is awesome!!!

Kirse said...

i Love this picture of the class in the caravan - you guys are off to a great start already!