A129. The Grand Canyon
A129. Peter and Donna Thomas. The Grand Canyon. Santa Cruz, California: Peter & Donna Thomas, 2007.
76 x 54 mm (3” x 2 1/8”), 12-page accordion, 50 copies.
Binding: Simple accordion; covers are brown and red painted paper, handmade by Peter Thomas, over boards. Title on label on cover. Accordion is printed on both sides. Paper: Duplex sheet, off-white with umber pigmented pulp on reverse, handmade by Peter Thomas. Printing: Text is letterpress. Illustrations are digital. Typography: Hand set News Gothic; printed with a red-brown rainbow roll. Illustration: A digital print of the Grand Canyon spanning entire accordion, front and back. Printer’s ornaments. Some copies include reproductions of watercolor paintings by Donna Thomas sewn into the valleys of accordion’s reverse. Notes: Made for the occasion of Donna’s 50th birthday.
“The text is from John Wesley Powell's 1875 book, Exploring the Colorado River: ‘The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in symbols of speech, nor by speech itself.’ I set the first half of the quote using News Gothic type, and the second half using ornaments, replacing the letters with symbols, as in a code. Donna turned fifty in 2007 and to celebrate we took a raft trip down the Grand Canyon River. This book is one of the series of books made every so often to celebrate Donna's birthday. All those books were surprises, so I had to make them without asking her to make new artwork. I had bought a set of art deco ornaments, but not been able to find a book to feature them in, so took this as my opportunity. I bound up some of the edition before we left on the river trip and I gave those copies to our guides and companions on the trip. Donna painted five or six watercolors on the trip. Once home, I took those paintings, digitally reduced and printed them on my handmade paper, then sewed them into the valley folds on the verso of the text.”