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Peter and Donna Thomas

Peter and Donna Thomas
  • Peter and Donna Thomas, of Santa Cruz, California, are book artists. They make paper, write, illustrate, print and bind limited edition, handmade books. A number of these books have been about Yosemite, the Sierra and John Muir. To create these books Peter and Donna thoroughly immerse themselves in the subject matter, to make a book which reflects artistry in text, illustration and binding. Peter and Donna have won numerous awards for their handmade artist books.
  • Both Peter and Donna grew up in California, and learned about John Muir in school, but they really began to understand who Muir was, and how his life influenced their lives, when they read about him and studied his writing in preparation to create their limited edition handmade "artist books".
  • Peter says that John Muir showed him what one man, following his passion, could to effect positive change in the world around him.
  • John Muir inspired Donna to fall in love with the natural world, to see that the greatest cathedrals in the world are of God’s creation, and to feel an obligation to do what she can to protect remaining wild places.
  • Peter and Donna say that what they most appreciate about Muir is that, "At some point in his life Muir stepped out his front door, threw a coat over his back, a loaf of bread and some tea in his pocket, and walked to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. That archetypal act, whether it happened or not, has inspired countless other people to also get out into the Sierra, to enjoy nature, which in turn has led to an enthusiasm to conserve and preserve it for following generations."
  • Both Peter and Donna graduated from colleges in California, but learned much more as they walked in the wilderness, and as they pursued their vocation as book artists.
  • In April and May of 2006, after a year of research and preparation, following the route that John Muir used when he first arrived in California in 1868, Peter and Donna walked from San Francisco to Yosemite. This was the first time anyone had retraced this route or thoroughly researched this time of Muir's life. Photos and stories about this can be found at their website about their Trans-California Ramble.

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