Joe has been bookbinding for many years. In 1991 he went to England to obtain more specialised training. After two years of study at the London College of Printing he received his Higher National Diploma in Bookbinding.
The following year he completed the Conservation of Rare Books and Manuscripts programme at West Dean College. Here he indulged his particular interest in historic binding structures. During his time there, Joe took the opportunity to study and work on some extremely rare volumes.
Between academic commitments, Joe spent two summers working and teaching as part of the library refurbishment crew at the Seminario Montefiascone in northern Italy.
Since his return to Nova Scotia, Joe has been doing commissions for private collectors, institutions and dealers. He teaches classes and workshops through the Dawson Printshop facility at Dalhousies School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). Joe has also presented workshops for the Canadian Bookbinders & Book Artists Guild (CBBAG) in Toronto and the Centre for the Book Arts in New York City