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....

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!