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, August 24, 2010


If you ever go to Vermont, go to the Bread and Puppet Theatre. We visited the community earlier this week and fell in love with their colorful puppets and music and the very ALIVE nature of every participant. Whether singing, enjoying our books, planning or rehearsing shows, painting or printing the woodcuts of one of the founders, Peter Shumann,
they are full of drama and enthusiasm! Peter and I printed a broadside in the printshop using one of Peter Shumann’s images and my linoleum cut words, “wandering” and “far from HOME”.

We feel very far from home, yet Vermont is comfortable. Weather is mild, the bread is home-made, the cheese is rich and local, the artists’ book community is alive and WE HAVE FAMILY HERE!

My cousins' Jean and Kevin Wry's "camp" on Lake Champlain is where we parked for a few days. We had a hectic schedule for a few days before arriving here and the next few weeks are going to be busy, so having a rest and recreation time at the lake was welcomed. Having family to be with makes it even better. The air is cool and fresh, the water is warm by our standards (the Pacific is probably 15 degrees colder).

The Bailey Howe Library on the University of Vermont campus arranged for us to park the caravan in front of the steps of the building, which is always the best way to show up to a library! We got lots of interested visitors to the caravan and then it’s easy to get the books inside to show the librarians. No parking meters, no crowded streets! A bunch of people came to the talk Peter gave, including my cousin Jean who has a few of our books and wanted to catch up on our book-art-ish news and see our latest books.

Vermont Book Arts Guild is active with meetings or workshops every month, shows annually and parties where food is often involved! They hosted us for a workshop on Saturday in a large bright room next to a church with a steeple!

(Vermont earns the “cutest villages in the US” award). We stayed with Jill and Harold in a small village by Lake Champlain, parked next to a crabapple tree abundantly decorated with deep red, shiny apples!

And every garden and road shoulder is verdant for Vermont! Flowers are everywhere....


Bonnie K said...

You are getting closer to Buffalo. Yippee!!!

Velma said...

but first, canton!