In 1992, upon graduating from Arizona State University's School of Architecture and Design, I took off on an adventure through Europe -
Five months into my journey, I had my backpack stolen in the train station in Rome. Gone were my camera, my walkman, my passport, my money, my plane ticket, and most devastatingly, my journal! Days later, I met a street artist who led me down a little alley to his friend's bookbinding shop where I was immediately entranced. The bookbinder and I became fast friends, and he shared his knowledge and skill with me over the next several days.
A year later I'd filled the book I'd gotten from my teacher, and I needed a new one. I recalled those days in Venice, and created a journal from a scrap of leather and watercolor paper. Everywhere I went with that book, people would ask if I could make one for them - thus, the beginning of Iona Handcrafted Books.
I still make them the traditional way that the monks made them centuries ago. And some have my own signature touch which involves using Victorian hardware as closure mechanisms.
And if not for that little Italian kid, who knows where I'd be?!
I'm a book binder. I only do books. Blank books. No bags, no wallets, no Ipad covers. I love books, and I love what I do.