iBB Podcast #20.1 – Daniel Kelm – Experimenting With Book Arts for Almost 45 Years

The 20th episode of iBookBinding’s podcast will be published in three parts because we are talking to Daniel Kelm, an amazing bookbinder and book artist with almost 45 years of experience. Daniel is an amazing speaker and teacher and shares lots of amazing stories during this discussion.

Among other things, Daniel experimented with book structures, invented the wire-edge binding, founded a school, and did many other amazing things. To learn more, watch this episode or listen to it (see the links below).



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Follow Daniel’s work:

00:00 – Daniel Kelm
00:30 – Starting with chemistry
03:21 – Finding a connection with books
04:24 – Running away from words to library bindings
05:41 – Learning process, apprenticeship, and influences
07:15 – Using chemistry to figure out the guilding techniques
08:05 – Starting with the traditional approach and moving on to experimentation
08:58 – Importance of collaborations
11:24 – “If you put a scuplture on the front of the book, it stops being a book!”
12:54 – Asking questions, playing, and having fun
13:45 – Having this great chance for free creative collaborations in the Western World
15:35 – Freedom from strict traditions
18:13 – Inventing the wire-edge binding
19:46 – Looking for stress areas of bindings
25:19 – Learning as much as possible about different structures and materials
30:09 – When a book is not a book anymore?
36:30 – The difference between book market and art market
39:31 – Buried books of Mark Cockram
41:41 – Ways to transmit narrative to the reader
44:11 – Open mind vs. bookbinding conservatism
48:42 – Sharing the knowledge and not being protective with your own inventions
51:05 – Teaching, founding a school, and having apprentices
54:40 – Cancer experience and its influence on Daniel’s life
57:28 – Work/life balance
59:22 – Growing things
1:02:09 – Listening to the material vs. forcing your own will onto it. Alchemy and science
1:11:39 – A very traditional mix of philosophy, bookbinding, and alchemy
1:12:29 – Collaboration with Ben Elbel

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