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, February 21, 2015

Arctic Blast Catches Wandering Book Artists Unawares

If we were in California right now we would be enjoying warm spring-like weather - but we are in North Carolina, at the John C. Campbell Folk School, and we are in the snow. It's been snowing and down to the single digits some days, icy and windy with blue skies other days.

Snow in the Campground
But don't worry (everyone here is. They keep asking, "Are you staying warm?") We are warm and dry in the caravan. We will be camped at the folk school, taking and teaching classes, for 2 weeks. Hopefully when we get back on the road on the 28th of February weather will be warmer and drier. Are we wishful thinking? You bet!

Peter and Micahlan jam in the evenings, Dee Dee clogging!
The evenings have been spent jamming and contra and square dancing. This is a picture shows Peter sitting in on an old time music jam playing his homemade Jug Band Can. Who would have guessed that old timey musicians would let a can player set in with them?

The days have been spent in the craft classes: Peter was in a ceramics class, Donna in a stained glass box making class. Next week Peter will teach uke and Donna is taking a tile making class in the Arts and Crafts tradition.

Donna's glass work
Donna's glass box (with hinged top!)
Peter's ceramic cups
I know we have stated this before, but just in case you missed it, the John C Campbell Folk School is an awesome place to learn a craft, or music, or dance, or cooking, the list is almost endless. Here with about 75 others, you take one of about 8 classes offered for a week in one discipline. The instructors are first rate, the facilities top notch, and the folks here lots of fun. Join us next year, in the end of March when Peter will come back to teach another ukulele class.

Felted hats made in the felt class this week.

Black ash baskets made in another class this week.

If you are interested in taking a class from us in Nashville:


Tanya Cothran said...

Beautiful stained glass and ceramics! It's always fun to see what you create in just one week! We sure enjoyed the SUMMER-like weather in Santa Cruz last week.

Stephen Flanagan said...

Sounds like perfect weather for a contra-cloggy-squaresy hoe down kind of day! Safe travels... S

Pat Larson said...

Fifty some years ago I did my day hiking with my young kids in the Santa Monica Mountains. I carried a backpack basket that looked identical to the one made in your basket class. It also went every where we camped in our 53 VW van. It was perfect for lunches and found treasures. Sweet memories.
We now live next door to Ashland but this one in Oregon.

Pat Larson