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, April 10, 2011

Wandering in the South, Y'all

We arrived in Asheville, NC in a hailstorm and the hail balls were up to the size of large marbles. We stopped in a parking lot to let it pass, with all the other folks waiting it out, looking out with trepidation as the hail strikes on the roof of the truck sounded like gunshot! 
Peter took this photo to show how much water pours off a parking lot during one of these intense storms.

Peter taught a bookbinding class on Sunday at BookWorks, in Asheville.
 Some cool structures were made:

I went for a walk around the neighborhood of the center and look! the dogwood are spectacular here.

After the class, we had a beer at this brewery beside the French Broad River. This is the artsy side of town and the outside drinking area was surrounded by great iron work.

We stayed a night near Athens in the Ft. Yargo State Park. State Parks are jewels. Very empty this time of year. No mosquitos yet, no plastic beach toys littering the lakes. Just nice views and quiet.

Well, not so quiet when we are talking on the phone to Suzanne about grand baby Emily back home...
Teaching again in Chattanooga, TN and more cool books:

Here is the spot we "camped" for the night in Chattanooga, near the "Choo-Choo."

a very cool urban neighborhood, filled with entrepreneurial 20 - 30-somethings.

Last night, we camped in "Old Stone Fort State Park, near Manchester, TN, a 2000 year old ceremonial spot for the Woodland era Native Americans. 

This is Peter wandering in the paper mill ruins in the park. Will you build me a wall like this please?


One thought at a time. said...

How truly wonderful this trip is for you both and for book lovers that you touch along the way

Gary E. Strong
University Librarian
UCLA Library

Bonnie K said...

Am so enjoying your travels and adventures! Hoping that you wind your way up north to the Roycroft Campus...or at least East Aurora. It would be lovely to see you both again.

Lars said...

There's nothing like springtime in the south... love the scenic views and beautiful books =^_^=

Ken from Greeley Hill said...

As a former wandering hippy, I am looking at the photos & stories and having panic attacks of envy! A couple of questions,... how large is the book binding ( book makers like you ) community? And, have you seen many interesting migrating birds? I really, really want to do a bird watching trip with Teri in the South in the spring. Keep up the cool reporting :-)

GrellBoards said...

If you are still near Ashville, look up my cousin Kim Gruelle in Cashiers, NC.

Peter and Donna Thomas said...

Jeff, we are now far away from Asheville, too bad.
Bonnie, we won't be in East Aurora this year, but maybe in the future!
Ken, I wish I knew the birds here. There are so many new ones to me! And the songs are beautiful too!