TRAVELING IN A TINY HOME THAT IS REALLY AN ARTISTS' BOOK ON WHEELS

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, October 21, 2014

Home. Well…Halfway Home.

This trip is officially halfway over. Last Friday we left the wagon parked nestled into a little “Fibber McGee Barn” in Winston-Salem and flew home. That makes it sound so easy. Too bad we didn’t get any photos of us jacking up the roof of the barn so the wagon would fit, or of the maneuvers require to back down the moss covered, steep s-curve drive to get into the barn.


Statistics for this trip? Here are the important ones. We were gone 59 days, traveled 7000 miles through 23 states, stopped at 34 universities, and hosted 5 book arts folk song sing-alongs.


Books art sing along at Friends of Dard Hunter conference.

We took some great photos that did not make it into their chronological blogs. So as not to waste them -here they are.

West to Mid-west:


Burroughs adding machine artwork. Utah State. Logan, Utah
The poet’s family manufactured these machines. 


Camping at Jellystone Park, nr. Grinnell, Iowa





Lords grain silos. Indiana




Mad Anthony. Fort Wayne, Indiana


We tried several times to get a good picture of our wagon with an Amish horse and buggy. 
But they moved too fast and this is the best we could get. Indiana

Not so Mid-west:


Donna in piano crosswalk. Oberlin, Ohio


I have friends in a band called the Tailgaters and took this to send them. nr. Buffalo, NY


Spotted my namesake at the Tug Boat Festival. Albany, NY

New England


At Hampshire College they provide solar power for visiting gypsy wagons. Amherst, MA


Old library space. Hampshire College. Amherst, MA


New library space. Hampshire College. Amherst,  MA


Sign. Hampshire College. Amherst, MA


Bierstadt’s Hetch Hetchy painting. Mt Holyoke College, MA


Peter as king in bag of flour. Norwich, VT


Evening open wagon event. New Haven, CT

East Coast (Mid-Atlantic)


Food truck and wagon. State College, PA


Donna and flower. Botanical Gardens. Washington DC


Philadelphia street early morning. Philadelphia, PA

Finally, sad but true, we never encountered any other tiny homes on the road this trip. One day we thought we did, but it proved to be only a garden shed on a flat bed truck.


Highway. Altoona, PA

So that's it for the photos. We will return to the gypsy wagon in mid-February 2015 and make our way west, visiting universities not covered in snow. Our first stop will be teaching a week-long introduction to ukulele class at the John C Campbell Folk School. Come join us.

Latest release: Our book, "The Alder" was featured as a "pick of the week" at University of Wisconsn, Milwaukee: Click here to see the article.



4 comments:

Tanya Cothran said...

What a great load of photos! I love the one of Philly, of Dad in the flour bag, and Mom with the painting.

Michelle Y. said...

Love these pictures!

Kathy Wosika said...

Great photos! You guys have an amazing amount of energy! Great seeing you in San Francisco at the Conference! Kathy Wosika

folding wagon cart said...

We have loved following your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your very interesting trip with the rest of us.