University of Kentucky Libraries
Special Collections Research Center
cordially invites you to

40 years of making books by hand:
the artists’ book in the digital age

A lecture by

Friday, 10 November 2017
7:00 p.m.

The Great Hall
Margaret I. King Library

The lecture is free and open to all.

Photo of Peter and Donna Thomas

The Workshop

Saturday, 11 November 2017

The King Library Press

THE FALL WORKSHOP at The King Library Press will be held Saturday, 11 November 2017, beginning at 8:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast.

Peter and Donna Thomas will lead a printing and binding workshop. Participants will print a quotation on the quality of handiwork from an essay by Victor Hammer. It will be set interlinear with a quote on the same subject from a lecture delivered by John Dreyfus at the King Library in 1988.

We will also print a sheet of instructions from Carolyn Hammer about the proper way to set Victor Hammer’s American Uncial type. After the printing is completed, we will then prepare a decorative folded paper portfolio binding to hold the finished pieces, including the insertion of a color copy of Carolyn Hammer’s hand written instructions.

Lunch will be served at noon, followed by the completion of the workshop in the afternoon.

Cost for the workshop will be $40.00. The number of participants is limited. Please call press director Paul Holbrook at 859-608-9623 to reserve a space, and for any further information about the workshop.


Peter and Donna Thomas are book artists from Santa Cruz, California. Since 1977 they have worked both collaboratively and individually; letterpress printing, hand-lettering and illustrating texts, making paper, and hand binding both fine press and artists’ books. Inspired by the archetypal quest for beauty and perfection and informed by the potential of word, shape, image and texture to create an illuminating or transformative experience, their initial aim was to create limited edition fine press books made of the finest materials and produced to the highest standards of quality, in both full size and miniature limited format.

This æsthetic continued to guide them through the 1990s as they worked in new formats made possible by personal computer technology, exploring non-traditional book structures and shaped book objects as both limited editions and one-of-a-kind books. Their 2002 book More Making Books by Hand: Exploring Miniature Books, Alternative Structures and Found Objects, is a manual describing how to make the book structures they developed during the previous decades’ explorations; their 2000 Ergonomics of Hand Papermaking video documents and demonstrates production papermaking techniques rediscovered visiting European hand paper mills; and their 2012 editorial work for 1000 Artists’ Books created a system to categorize artists’ books by physical characteristics.

From 2010 they have traveled the USA as the “Wandering Book Artists” giving talks, workshops, and demonstrations to both academic and community-based audiences. We welcome them for their third visit to The King Library Press as part of their year long fortieth anniversary celebrations across the country.