|The Art of the Book
Sixth Annual Exhibition of Handmade Books,
Altered Books and Book Related Works
Daniel E. Kelm was born in 1951, and formally trained as a chemist at the University of Minnesota during the late 1960s and early seventies, Daniel Kelm held teaching and research positions at that institution. The social re-evaluation current to the time, however, ﬁnally prompted him to leave academics, the realm of the mind, in favor of the arts and crafts some twenty years ago. It marked the beginning of his involvement with books that took him through employment in four production studios where he learned progressively more specialized traditional bookbinding techniques. In 1983, he opened his own studio, now called The Wide Awake Garage, where he designs and produces artist’s books and interpretive ﬁne bindings that combine traditional and new materials in innovative book and box structures. In 1990 he founded the Garage Annex School that offers workshops of all levels in bookbinding and the book arts taught by recognized masters of the ﬁeld. His work has been exhibited widely and is held in collections such as the Houghton Library, Harvard University; the New York Public Library; Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University; the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas; the Kohler Art Library, University of Wisconsin; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Library of Congress.
Neo Emblemata Nova, 2005
Images by Michael Maier; artist’s book by Daniel E. Kelm; edition produced by Daniel E. Kelm and the mechanics at the Wide Awake Garage—Erin Clay Nelson, Meg Sanders, Sammy Lee, Anthony J. Fiandaca, Amy Borezo, and Kylin Lee, 2005.
The book’s form is a Möbius strip, mathematically a one-sided object. The half-twist in the looped structure allows the reader to run the entire book through his or her hands (see both sides of the book) without ever turning it over—beginning and ending with the title page. The images are from Emblemata Nova, also known as Atalanta fugiens, an important 17th-century alchemical emblem book by the German doctor, philosopher, and mystic Michael Maier. Each of the figurative scenes, or emblems, represents an alchemical process or set of materials. This allowed knowledge to be recorded, but the information could really only be understood by those initiated in the alchemical arts.
Kelm’s wire edge binding uses both soldered brass and laser-welded stainless steel hinges. The two colors are meant to be evocative of gold—the sun, the male principle—and silver—the moon, the female principle.
Edition: 21 copies
Dimensions: box closed, 4.25 x 4.0 x 3.75 inches; book closed, 3.0 x 2.75 x 3.0 inches; book open, variable up to approximately 20 x 24 inches