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....

Sunday, March 15, 2015

It is really a Tiny Mobile House', and may we park in your driveway?"

“What is that thing?” That’s what we heard in 2010 when we first started traveling with our wagon. They recognized its beauty and uniqueness, but they didn’t have a way to pigeonhole it. On this trip everyone is asking, “Is that a tiny house? I have heard about them and have always wanted to see one.” Describing our gypsy wagon trailer is a bit easier in 2015.

Hospitality on the road is really appreciated. We always need a place to park and shower. Often, and sometimes at short notice, folks open their driveways and homes to our tiny home. We want to thank them all.  In St. Louis we stayed with Anthony Garnett, an antiquarian book dealer who sells our books. We couldn't resist including this photo contrasting our tiny home with his.

In Nashville, we stayed with book artist Lesley Patterson-Marx and her family. She is a founding member of Platetone Book Arts Center
where we taught a Sunday class. Check out their schedule of awesome print and binding classes.

Enjoying the "Open Caravan" event in Nashville
Peter demonstrating binding at Platetone

 Lesley's quote after the class: "I am most joyful when engaged in work that I find meaningful, and thus bring joy into all that I do aside from that work. Like the song says...Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me…making books!!!!!"

Ukuleles and Books at Platetone

We were parked in Lesley’s driveway and all the neighbors wondered who was moving in.
In Louisville, at Lesley's mother Patricia’s home, we met  Kelly and Joe who host a “pop-up dinner party” once a month at their art gallery/home. If you are in Louisville, look up “Evolving” try out Joe’s incredible cooking skills and see Kelly’s work. A great innovative new idea!

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