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....

Follow the Wandering Book Artists on Facebook and Instagram!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Mid-west weather says "Californians, time to head home."

Donna just spent hours making a fantastic final post. I went to edit it, and in the blink of an eye, and a misplaced keystroke, I deleted it. It was unrecoverable. The only time I felt worse was on the trip, some time around week 9 or 10, when the temperature dropped, ice started appearing, and Donna and I looked at each other, both of us thinking..."I want to be home...."

But we still had lots to do, and of course, had a great time doing it.

We found very interesting work going on in Karen Baldner's book arts classes at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis.

And the Herron's art library always has artists' books on display for the students to study. Here are a few that inspired us.

We ended the trip visiting the University of Kentucky, where we got a clear sign it was time for us to be heading home..... As we walked to the King Library:

And this is what it looked like later in the day:

Here is our class at the King Library Press at the University of Kentucky. We had participants of all ages, who helped one another, created cool books and generally had a good time!

Peter and director of the press Paul Holbrook pull a print on the historic hand press:

The University of Kentucky hosted one of our "40 year" shows:

Finally, we packed up the truck and trailer and left it in Dave Peter's back yard. Dave co-teaches Peter's Introduction to Ukulele classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina.

Dave has a fine sense of humor! It was his wizardry that created the "Sleepwalking in a Tiny Home" video we made earlier on the trip:

We are at home now in Santa Cruz, busy filling orders of books we sold on the trip.We have books yet to bind and the winter is a fine time to be inside in the studio. See our books on our website here.

The book, Piute Creek is currently a favorite!

No comments: