Late in 1985 I decided I wanted to make books. In previous years I had been involved in politics, education, catering, owning a restaurant, and a lot of biking. This making books idea emerged after the wonderful and completely fulfilling experience of writing and publishing my own story of biking across the United States with another woman in 1978.
So as I cast around in November 1985 for my next life move, I was delighted and amazed to learn that I could actually make a whole and finished book myself. I could write it, set the text by hand in lead type, make the paper and even the binding all by hand, myself. In an age of factory-made everything, this was an astonishing and exciting revelation. I enrolled in the Book Arts program at Mills College in Oakland, California in 1987 to begin to learn my new craft. Following a year's study, I apprenticed with a leading Bay Area printer, and then a bookbinder before setting off with a moving van full of printing presses and equipment and other print shop necessities.