Jo specialises in fine binding and bespoke box making, and works to commission, binding various printed books from first editions and fine press publications to hand-printed artwork. She set up her own fine binding business in 2005, Jo Bird Books,
“My work is essentially about creating a physical and tactile object, a piece of art work that is also a book to be explored, read and enjoyed. I look specifically at utilising materials traditionally used in bookbinding, such as various leathers, papers, gold leaf, gold tooling and letter press printing, whilst also working with contemporary materials such as plastics, carbon and foils with tooling, graphite and silkscreen printing. Each piece of work, being a book or box, is carefully constructed by hand, with great consideration given to the overall design and function.”
Jo graduated with a BA Hons in Illustration and Graphic Design from Norwich School of Art in 1997. She began studying bookbinding at evening classes at London College of Printing whilst working in a specialist art paper shop by day. She then went on to work for various trade binderies in London as a trainee whilst completing a post graduate diploma in bookbinding at London College of Communication in 2004 and studying privately at Studio 5. She was elected a Licentiate member of Designer Bookbinders in 2006 after being awarded the Mansfield medal and first prize in the annual Designer Bookbinders Competition in 2005. She now works freelance and to commission and her work is held in various private and public collections including The British Library.