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, October 7, 2012

Dandelion Wine from Nebraska

The closest campground to Lincoln, Nebraska, was the Pawnee Lake State Recreation Area. As we pulled in, we recognized that it was the same campground we had stayed in last time we visited the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in spring of 2011. The trees were turning bronze, gold and crimson, popping sounds of duck hunters’ guns echoed from across the lake that was clearly low (little rain this summer…), and there were no dandelions anywhere. Dandelions? When we camped there a year and a half ago the campground had been covered with dandelions, and like the resourceful gypsy wandering book artists we are, we picked the dandelions and as we traveled we made wine. Here is a picture from the last trip of the wine fermenting in the back of the truck. We didn’t have an air lock with us so used the old rubber glove trick.

Well I packed one of the bottles of 2011 dandelion wine to share with our moonshiner ukulele friend Dave in Brasstown, NC. But this was the perfect occasion, so we pulled it out of the gypsy wagon’s wine cellar (a Coleman ice chest under the bed) and opened it. 

We toasted the full moon, the open road, and good friends, like uke friend Dave, who would share his unreceived wine with us.

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