Milton Watkins

Working from Ballarat in country Victoria, Milton Watkins has established a fine reputation as a craftsman in the highly specialised area of book binding and finishing. Milton has applied his skills to restoring many historical and specialty books for libraries, institutes and universities in Australia, the USA and Hong Kong.

In 1979, while attending a technical college in Melbourne, one of Milton’s teachers asked him if he was interested in an apprenticeship as a Binder & Finisher in bookbinding. Curious about the apprenticeship, Milton accepted, and began his career at Twinlock Australia; a business that manufactured office products and systems. Milton enjoyed working on hand binding, gluing, and on the guillotine: heavy work at a time before having luxuries such as lifts, auto stackers, joggers and rollers.
Over the next 14 years, Milton worked at various printing companies to keep up with his experience with printing machines, and occasionally went back into hand binding and restoration. In 1994, Milton decided to start his own business in book restoration and custom binding: founding Absolute Bookbinding on the Gold Coast in Queensland. In 1996, Milton moved his business to Ballarat, Victoria, to work full time as a book binder and restorer. In 1998, his company was renamed Ballarat Bookbinding, and has since expanded  into an old 1870s bluestone shop, before finally moving into a private studio in Currumbin on the Gold Coast in 2013.