The Artistry of Daniel E. Kelm
During my visit to the Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair, I was able to check out the book arts exhibit The Artistry of Daniel E. Kelm. The exhibit was curated by Smith College student Jessica Ryan.
Daniel is an interesting guy. Some background – he studied chemistry and philosophy at the University of Minnesota and later dove into bookbinding at the university bindery. He further trained through apprenticeships and work at various binderies. He opened his own bindery (The Wide Awake Garage) in the early 80’s and established The Garage Annex School of Book Arts in 1990.
Daniel is a bookbinder scientist, known for developing inventive structures and exploring alternative materials. He is probably best known as the inventor of the wire edge binding. So he’s pretty darn cool.
Not only does he create his own awesome work, but he’s also the King of Collaboration – he regularly works with other binders, poets, visual artists, calligraphers, letterpress printers, photographers, and writers.
There’s something magical that happens with Daniel joins forces with another artist. The creative vision is so unified – structure, imagery, written content – it all works together seamlessly.
Enough of the gushing, let’s see his work!
I’m so glad that I had the chance to see the exhibit. You’ve got one more week to get there – the exhibit closes December 15, 2015.
Can’t get enough of Daniel? Here are some great resources to explore:
- A Conversation with a Modern Bookbinder – artist talk hosted by the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress
- Daniel Kelm interview for the Book Artists and Poets podcast series
- The Observer and the Observed: The Bookworks of Daniel E. Kelm – essay by Mark Dimunation, Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress