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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.

Sign for Daniel Kelm exhibit at Smith College

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.

I’m not the only one who thinks so.

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!

Handbound book by Daniel Kelm

Neo emblemata nova by Daniel Kelm

Handbound book by Daniel Kelm

Turning Leaves of Mind by Daniel Kelm

Handbound book by Daniel Kelm

Tea: Time in Korea by Greta D. Sibley and Daniel Kelm

Handbound book by Daniel Kelm

Love in the Time of War by Robin Price and Daniel Kelm

Handbound book by Daniel Kelm

Interstices & Intersections by Russell Maret and Daniel Kelm

Handbound book by Daniel Kelm

Interstices & Intersections by Russell Maret and Daniel Kelm

Handbound book by Daniel Kelm

Four Chambers Five Nights by Greta Sibley, Joseph Osina, and Daniel Kelm

Handbound book by Daniel Kelm

Lillian by Steve Daiber and Daniel Kelm

Handbound book by Daniel Kelm

The Anatomy Lesson: Unveiling the Fasiculus medicinae by Joyce Cutler-Shaw and Daniel Kelm

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:

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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