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....

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

From the Folk School to the Library of Congress

We spent last week taking classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School. We highly recommend this to everyone. We both had a great time exploring a new craft medium in fully equipped shops with all the required materials close at hand. And at night there are concerts and dances with Appalachian music! They feed you well, soul and belly.

Donna took a class making glass beads.

Peter took a blacksmithing class. He made candle holders and some fittings for the wagon.

We saw a couple of new (to us anyway) musical instruments at the folk school’s Fall Festival.

The bass thumb piano.

Donna playing Reid vibraphone.

From the folk school we drove to Washington DC to show our books to Mark Dimunation, Rare Book Librarian at the Library of Congress. If you visit the LOC you can now find a few more of our books there.

We have one more week on the road, one more weekend in a campground somewhere in New Jersey, and then we tuck our wagon in for the winter and fly home. We will return to North Carolina and the Folk School the third week of February. We will take some more classes, teach a ukulele class again, then be traveling across the southern US. Care to join us on some part of the journey?


Tanya Cothran said...

Wow! Beautiful crafts! Looks like it must've been a good time.

Mary Doughty said...

I hope you are planning a visit to Nashville next year

Maureen said...

Let's try to see each other while you're back in cali. We're long overdue for a trip to SC!

Peter and Donna Thomas said...

Yes, Nashville should be on our route!!
I love the Folk School....
OK, Maureen, yes, you need to visit!