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 other vendors had made to sleep in or use as booths to sell their wares from. In 2009 they built their own tiny home "caravan", designed after a typical 1900s Redding style of English Gypsy Wagon. This blog documents their trips around the country to sell their books, teach book arts workshops, and talk about making books as art; and to seek out and find beauty in the landscape of the USA.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Midwestern hospitality

Someone told me a long time ago that the midwesterners were the friendliest and most hospitable folks on earth. I have to agree. We had a visit to the home and studios of Tim Moore and Pati Scobey in the village of Concord, Michigan for the weekend and they are proof that this is true. Tim makes papermaking and bookbinding equipment of the very finest quality,
and Pati makes beautiful prints and books.
We took a bit of a break here before heading off to Kalamazoo to teach our final classes of the season. They live on over 100 acres, most of it is planted in pines which are all the same age, so not all that pretty, but more firewood than they'll need for their whole lives. In the forest grow hickory, oak and other hardwoods which I loved to walk through.

Other friends we visited here are Wil and Sarah Reding, the "Rent a Rambling Naturalists". Their big accomplishment in the last few years was walking from Indiana to Florida, following John Muir's "1000 Mile Walk to the Gulf."
They showed us pics from their trip and we were glad our Muir Ramble Route is only 300 miles long....

Camping on the east shore of Lake Michigan is lovely: Sand dunes 100 feet tall, clear water waves lapping at the rocky shores, people gone for the season.

Nearby is the community of Holland, which was very heavily settled by the Dutch so we did a touristy thing and went to see wooden shoes being made. The machines were awesome: simple yet ingenious! Big belts, lathes and augers noisily grind along and turn poplar cubes into shoes!

The reason we were interested is that we have a wooden shoe collection and are trying to figure out how to change them all into artists' books.....

The art community of Ox Bow is near Holland, and we stopped to tour the facility with the plan to someday see about teaching there. They built this cool structure/gypsy house for a parade this summer.

A little cousin to our caravan...

We are here for 3 days before we head to Kalamazoo for a whirlwind 3 days of classes, library visits and talks. I can make it, I can make it......


kirse said...

I like the idea of a string of pages coming out of the shoes like a dragon kite!

Donna - lets go HERE someday

You CAN make it and I can't wait til you roll all the way home

Nina Koocher said...

Love the picture of the dunes and the lake. Can almost feel the sunshine.