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, November 27, 2016

The Gypsy Wagon,Waffle Cones and the Wigwam Hotel

We have been home for almost a month. Halloween and Thanksgiving have passed and Christmas looms. Just so you don't wonder if we are going to leave you hanging, wondering how the trip ended, here is an account of our return home from Santa Fe.

We didn't stay here. We got the photo, then scrammed.
We attended the annual meeting of the national association for hand papermakers, an organization called The Friends of Dard Hunter. We have enjoyed camaraderie and learned much in the many years of our connection to this organization.
Here is a short clip of the conference band performing one of our book arts folk songs called "Minnie the Bookbinder," a parody of Cab Calloway’s "Minnie the Moocher." Wait. It's not working. I'll get back to you soon....

In Santa Fe, among other things, we found a dilapidated vintage tiny home.

We saw some great vintage tin art at the fabulous Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe.

cool tin art in the library in the Zimmerman Library, UNM

On the way home we stopped at ASU to visit Dan Mayer at the Pyracantha Press, and admire their new-to-them, but from the 1890s, over the top, Colombian hand press.

While in Phoenix we visited the Musical Instrument Museuem. They brag that it is one of the top 10 museums in the country. I would agree. You get a head set when you enter and each exhibit has videos with music representative of what is being displayed.

Peter makes this kind of stuff

Our last stop was in Joshua Tree National Park. The campgrounds were completely full, but some folks, who were climbers and had seen the gypsy wagon when we were camping at Vedauwoo State Park in Wyoming on our last trip, let us squeeze in.

We shared the campsite with full time RVers, theirs is a converted Sprinter van.

Pumpkin pie, made in the caravan!

Joshua Tree sunrise

Donna likes hiking in these kind of places

So now we are home binding books and working on plans for our 2017-8 celebration of 40 years as book artists. Our next trip will be in the fall of 2017. We will keep you posted.

If you are ever in Flagstaff, stop at the Joy Cone Co and pick up a pack of free waffle cones!