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....

Monday, June 18, 2018

Vardos and tiny homes we passed along the way.....

We are back in Santa Cruz for the summer. The truck and trailer are  happily sheltered in Murphy, North Carolina, waiting for our late September return, when we will visit libraries across the mid-west as we head our way home.

On the current book arts front the University of Utah's Marriott Library is hosting a show of our work as part of our 40 year celebration, titled "40 years of books to go." It can be seen on the level 1 Lobby Gallery from May 24th through September 1st, 2018. (https://newsletter.lib.utah.edu/current-exhibitions/). We will be giving a talk there on June 21st at 5:30.

 

We have never actually passed (or been passed by) another tiny home or vardo while driving (and we have pulled our  little tiny home on wheels over 60,000 miles now...) But we have found a few that were parked, and at the end of a trip we like to share photos of what we found:

 


 

Outside of Orlando in the Wekiva Springs campground we sited the first actual curved roof vardo we have encountered in the wild (meaning other than the ones we have seen at SCA events). It was owned and built by the camp host, (sorry we forget his name).

 
  

 

In a parking lot, overlooking the ocean, we found this pickup truck with a vardo-like camper.



At a show ground in St. Augustine we found this cotton candy looking wagon. It is currently being used by a food vendor.



In St. Petersburg we found this "tiny home" still on display in the central park, even though the tiny home show had been the week before. (We were not yet in town, so happy to see this one.) For those of you who do not know, the tiny home movement defines a tiny home being under 400 square feet. Our wagon, at 7.5 by 14.5 is about 110 square feet. What makes it different than a single wide trailer? Well for one it is a bit smaller (a single wide is usually not less than 600 sq. ft.) But really it is the materials used and the mind set behind its construction. The tiny house movement promotes financial prudence, eco-friendly choices, shared community experiences, and a shift in consumerism-driven mindsets.



Well, as we said at the start of the blog, our truck and wagon are happily ensconced under shelters in Murphy, NC in our friend Dave Peters yard, and by now are probably completely covered by kudzu. Dave wrote a great song about kudzu, and you can see it on youtube. Well I thought you could, but it doesn't seem to be there... Here is another one of his song though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-oxyjQt0wo

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