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

The Book Arts are Big in Iowa

We found a giant calligraphy pen at a rest stop on highway 80 near Iowa City. Clearly the book arts are big around here.

In Iowa City we delivered Peter’s collection of books and ephemera related to the subject of hand papermaking to the University Library.

The University of Iowa has just added a graduate degree in the book arts, and we hope our collection, which includes many unique books on the subject of papermaking, will provide valuable research material for Iowa's Book Arts students interested in the history of the modern revival of hand papermaking.

A sample from the collection. A page from the book, Rapid: A Private Paper Mill, by Roger Daniels (Melbourne Australia: 1963). 5-1/8” x 7-3/4 Pages: 51. Number 5 of 15 copies. Daniels wrote the text, made the paper, printed and bound the book.


Donna Theresa said...

So did you sing "on the road again" as you pulled out of your driveway?

Wow, it's a good thing this stop was toward the beginning of your trip. The collection you are giving the university must have taken up a lot of room in your cozy quarters.

Kay Oldham said...

I wish i could travel with you guys you see and do so many amazing things around USA maybe ill bump in to you when i head on over there in 2013/14 when i have saved up enough money.
Travel safe.