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....

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Finally another gypsy wagon….

We had a few free days between Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge. We were going to visit the Natchez Trace Scenic Parkway but found a Society for Creative Anacronism “war”, was being held in Mississippi, and it was right on our route. It is called the Gulf War and is one of the SCA’s largest and longest events. 

As well as being a place to fight with sword or arrow, the SCA events are places to learn about crafts of the time. We took classes in fiber and metal arts (Peter made a Viking safety pin and Donna made a cloak), wood fired cooking, and bardic lore.

We have traveled about 35,000 miles and have not seen another gypsy wagon on the road. When we pull into campgrounds the rangers and hosts stare. We always ask, “Do you get many gypsy wagons at your park?” Only once or twice have we heard…”We had one that looked like that once.” There was one other gypsy wagon at the war. It was made by Ken and Betty Brand. Here are a few pictures.

We did not come prepared to dress in costume, so had to throw something together.
Here we are saying goodbye to the war....


Gayle said...

I have been to Gulf Wars, but the much larger and longer Pennsic Wart in PA is really the place to go to see gypsy wagons. T=Over the years there has been an huge building boom of them, in all sorts. They now give tours and classed in just that. Someday, once I win the lottery. I guess that means I should play. Glad you had a good time. Gluf Wars is a good time.

Peter and Donna Thomas said...

We went to Pennsic 2 years ago with the purpose being to see the gypsy wagons there. We met lots of great folks and Donna made paintings of most of them and used the paintings for the edition of "Song of the Open Road", available on our website: