Peter and Donna Thomas
Santa Cruz, California
Peter Thomas was born in Los Angeles in 1954 and Donna was born in San Francisco in 1957; they have worked collaboratively as book artists since 1977. Peter studied fine press printing with poet/printer William Everson and Donna studied art at Sonoma State. Their binding skills are mostly self taught, but credit for improvement must be given to their bookbinding colleagues who have critiqued the work, providing a tip or suggesting a new technique.
As Peter Thomas read Huckleberry Finn to prepare for this competition, it was the description of the raft and life on the river, as Huck and Jim floated downstream, that called to his creative imagination.The book will be bound as a raft-like structure. He had previously explored the concept of binding unsewn books by rolling the sections and using those cylinders as architectural elements of the book structure. Thomas realized that these ideas could be further explored in a binding of Huckleberry Finn, as the cylinders could be made to resemble the logs of a raft.
Mark Twain. The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn. Illustrated by Donald McKay. New York: Grosset & Dunlap Publishers, Illustrated Junior Library, 1948.
Walnut veneered wooden tubes lashed together using imitation sinew, tubes then attached to river flotsam (sticks and planking) and other found objects (including a miniature facsimile copy of the first edition of Huckleberry Finn) added to the deck, a raft-like creating structure. The book was disbound, and the gatherings were rolled up and stored in sequential order inside the tubes.