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....

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Ukuleles and Kaleidoscope Quilts

We have just spent our second week at the John C Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina. The fall colors continue to inspire me creatively!
Blacksmith barn at the folk school

frosty morning walk
 I took a kaleidoscope quilt class. I spent the week "fussy cutting" fabric, piecing small squares and sewing over 10 hours a day and that was heaven to me! Our instructor, Karen Tunnell, is a very accomplished textile artist. She inspired me to get into fabric design again, which I did a small bit of in the 1970's in my textile class at Drake High School.
Sewing the Kaleidoscope square

First Kaleidoscope
Petal Kaleidoscope
Moth Kaleidoscope
Kaleidoscope skirt!

Peter taught a beginning ukulele class this week. I think they had the most fun of any class here. They sang and played great music together. Two of the students had never played an instrument before and most were complete beginners, but that did not stop them from having fun. They even played a gig at the Daily Grind and Wine in Murphy. Dave Peters assisted teaching the class and is in the process of making a music video from footage taken at the gig. When that is done you will hear some more about the class. All week long the uke players kept coming up to me and saying how much fun they were having with Peter and the class, and Peter kept saying how much fun he was having. It must have been fun.
On Thursday, the class performed at a coffee shop in town!

Beginning ukulele class performing at the school 
Will you join us at the John C Campbell Folk School next time we teach there? It would be so fun to share this great place with you.
P.S. The gypsy caravan made an appearance next to the Craft Shop here on Thursday, all who toured our home on wheels marveled and dreamed, just like they always do! The school has a facebook page and here is the post featuring Paloma, (which is the name I gave to our wagon.)


Jill said...

Love the kaleidoscope squares! Beautiful.

Tanya Cothran said...

The fabric design is AMAZING! My birthday's coming up, you know...hint, hint...
Love, Tanya

Bonnie K said...

I love your keleidoscopes, Donna. The skirt is amazing! Sounds like you both had a great time at JCCFS.

redryder said...

Peter is beaming in the coffee shop performance!

Maybe he can write a uke song called "Fussy Cutting."


Susan Mackin Dolan's friend, Anne!

Cari Ferraro said...

What fun you two are having! Love the textile design, my former life too was fabric art. You look like you are having a blast. And another week of fun ahead! Happy trails,

Donna Theresa said...

I think it would be great fun to join you at the John C Campbell Folk School next time you teach there!

Jeannine Andre said...

Beautiful post, pics and travels! I LOVE that kaleidoscope skirt! Thanks for sharing this!