A143. Don't Fence Me In
(Bottom) A142. Donna Thomas. The Southwest. Santa Cruz, California: Peter & Donna Thomas, 2010.
70 x 44.5 mm (2 ¾” x 1 ¾”), 14-page accordion, 50 copies.
Binding: Simple accordion; covers are green paper, handmade from cotton rag and yucca fiber, over boards. Title and illustration on label on cover. Paper: Yellow, handmade by Peter Thomas. Printing: Digital. Typography: Reproduction of text handwritten by Donna Thomas. Illustration: Reproductions of six watercolor paintings by Donna Thomas. Pictographs modeled after Navajo rock paintings stenciled on first and last pages. Notes: The yucca fiber for cover paper was gathered in the high desert near the California-Arizona border. The illustrations are a series of watercolor landscapes that Donna painted in National Parks in the Southwest during the Thomases’ Wandering Book Artist's trip in April and May of 2010. The pictographs on the end sheets, modeled after Navajo rock paintings, were cut as stencils, glue was applied through the stencils, and finely sifted earth (gathered in the Southwest) was embedded in the glue to give it color.
“When we returned from our first trip as Wandering Book Artists, we decided to each make an editioned miniature book inspired by the trip. Donna made this book and I made Don’t Fence Me In [A141]. This is a picture book, there is no text.”
(Middle) A143. Cole Porter. Don’t Fence Me In. Santa Cruz, California: Peter & Donna Thomas, 2010.
73 x 57 mm (2 7/8” x 2 ¼”), 6-page accordion, 50 copies.
Binding: Simple accordion; covers are ponderosa pine wood cut and milled by Jim Leap. Vintage printer’s cut blind-stamped on leather label on cover. Paper: Tan, handmade by Peter Thomas. Printing: Letterpress. Typography: Hand set Playbill and Spartan Bold; printed with a rainbow roll. Illustration: Six photoengravings. Notes: The illustrations are printed using vintage printers’ cuts of cowboys and horses.
“Karla Elling, one of the collaborators in our Wandering Book Artists’ Collaborative Broadsides [A146], had just purchased a collection of type and printer’s cuts from a print shop in Butte, Montana. As I looked through the collection I was taken by the cuts featuring Conestoga wagons, and this series of cowboys and their horses. She let me borrow about a couple dozen of her blocks, which I used over the next few years to make three different miniature books. I first looked to histories of the cowboy and the west for an accompanying text, even considering the genre of ‘cowboy poetry’. One day while singing Cole Porter's archetypal cowboy song of the same title, I realized it captured, in a few words, the essence of the archetypal cowboy experience, a thing that those histories took chapters to express.”
(Top) A144. Walt Whitman. Trees. Santa Cruz, California: Peter & Donna Thomas, 2010.
76 x 51 mm (3” x 2”), 11-page accordion, 30 copies.
Binding: Simple accordion; covers are grey paper over boards. Title and illustration on label on cover. Individual pages inserted into accordion through slits. End sheets blue. Housed in a green or peach handmade paper sleeve. Title and illustration on label on cover. Paper: Grey and white, handmade by Peter Thomas. Printing: Digital. Typography: Reproduction of text handwritten by Donna Thomas. Illustration: Reproductions of six watercolor paintings by Donna Thomas. Notes: Illustrations painted on site in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Once printed, they were cut into separate sheets of paper, then mounted by sliding the corners into decorative slits hand cut by Donna Thomas into the accordion.
“The text is a quote from Whitman’s Song of the Open Road.”