Todd Davis BB ’16

July 6, 2018


Bookbinding, Alumni, Profiles

What led you to become a student at NBSS?

I spent over 30 years developing software, eventually establishing a successful consulting company in Boston with clients throughout the world. By the end of that time, I was really burning out and the industry had changed to the point I was no longer comfortable being associated with it. I graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a degree in history but had never been able to put it to use in any substantial way. I was looking around for something that couldn’t be outsourced, downsized, off-shored, or automated, and found that NBSS offered a Bookbinding program which is something I’d always been interested in. So here I am.

What was the best part of your education?

It’s hard to pick a single best part. Learning a whole new craft in an environment where excellence is routine was a new experience for me. Meeting legendary craftspersons from around the world is an experience I don’t think I could have gotten anywhere else. Learning something new is always a “best thing,” and this was really, really new to me.

What are you up to now?

During my first year here, an email came through the classroom that someone was retiring and selling his bindery, all or nothing. I was lucky enough to be able to take advantage of that offer and after graduation, with the help of two beefy former Marines in the Cabinetry & Furniture Making program, moved the thousands of pounds of equipment from Vermont to my new space in Merrimack Valley. I would not have been able to do it without their help and I would not have met them had it not been for NBSS. I’m now up and running a a full service bindery in the Western Avenue Studios mill complex in Lowell.

A repair done by Todd

Where do you get inspiration?

From fellow binders, and other artists in my building.

Favorite tool or machine?

My hands.

Proudest moment?

Graduating from NBSS.

Best advice you’ve gotten?


Dream project or job?

Having a design fine binding accepted into a major exhibition.

Any advice for our graduating students?

Don’t forget to learn the business side of things.

View more of Todd’s work on his website or on his Instagram page.