PETER & DONNA THOMAS
MINIATURE BOOKS, FINE PRESS BOOKS, ARTISTS' BOOKS, HANDMADE PAPER
260 Fifteenth Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062 (831) 475-1455
|About the Artists||Book
|Miniature Books||Artists Books:
|Blogs, Articles and Essays||Hand Papermaking||Fine Press Books
|| Artists' Books:
|Classes & Exhibits||Home|
Some items we couldn't put on the main menu...
To read about our current adventures as Wandering Book Artists in our gypsy wagon artists' book-mobile. Click here.
Read an article about the "can opening"event at Emory University for our edition of Steinbeck's Cannery Row. Click here.
Read an article about our last Wandering Book Arts Road Trip in the January 2011 issue of FBM. Click here.
Watch us on Park City TV in Ori Hoffer's 5 minute interview on YouTube. Click here.
Watch our 47 minute talk at the University of Colorado on their web site. Click here.
Read a great article about our work in the March 2009 issue of Fine Books Magazine. Click here.
Listen to Peter play "What's a Book?" on a ukulele book. Click here.
Read about our walk from San Francisco to Yosemite following the route John Muir used in 1868. Click here to read about the trip.
Buy our guide book for walking to Yosemite following Muir's route. Click here for info.
Being a Book Artist
by Peter Thomas
Being a book artist is more than just making books; its living and breathing them. Its about becoming so involved with the subject matter that the physical attributes of the book reveal themselves. Its about listening to the materials invoke the proper text. Its about loving those materials and knowing them so well that we feel their desire to be used in the book we are making. We didnt begin our artistic careers planning to be artists of the book. It was more a case of being called, inspired with the desire to make a Good Book: one that, through the materials, in the text, and by the visual and tactile impact, will move the viewer from the everyday to a new place, a place that stirs the soul.
Thought for the day
Years ago I had a burning desire to see our books recognized as art and held in museum collections, but now I see the library as the book's "museum" and take great pleasure in finding them housed there. I think a successful artist book will be just as satisfying to see in a glass case as to hold and read. The book's exterior (binding) needs to be like a painting (by this I mean a stand alone aesthetic experience) so that when a visitor can only see the outside they will still leave with aesthetic satisfaction. But the book's interior also has to be like a painting (by this I also mean a stand alone aesthetic experience) so that when the visitor views it (even if only behind glass) they leave with aesthetic satisfaction. And added to that when the visitor has time to view or read the book, the content, the text, must give another layer of aesthetic satisfaction. In the finest of artists' book, a thing I call the "Mona Lisa of the Aritsts' Book" these three elements all work together seamlessly so that when the viewer sees the outside they say "Wow!", and when the look at the inside they say "Wow, Ohh!", and when the hold the book and read it they say, "Wow, Ohh, my God!" Well they would say something like that anyways...
We live in exciting times. Since the invention of the printing press the book, as a medium for the artist, has been encumbered by function. Over the course of the last two decades the personal computer has released the book from servitude to information, and thus set it free to become an aesthetic object, a work of art. Now, free of function, the book is becoming the premier medium of the artist. The book is clearly the most complex and versital art medium that exists, and I believe that very soon artists will discover how to exploit these potentials to create works of art that today are still unimaginable.
The book artist marries content, form and the passage of time into a single unified artwork called an artists' book.
For those of you who are new to our work; Donna does the illustrative art work for our books.
We make our own paper, print and bind the books ourselves, with a few random exceptions...
(There are always random exceptions in real life.)