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Kyla Allon

Some Words on Bookbinding at The Garage Annex School

I have been dreaming about making books since I was in college; however, it was not until after I graduated that I began looking into programs that taught book arts. While searching for programs, I knew that I wanted to design my own education; I wanted the ability to go off on a creative whim but have instruction along the way. When I visited the Garage Annex School for Book Arts, things began to fall into place.

Daniel Kelm, the founder of The Garage Annex School, and my teacher over the past 6 months, is an incredibly knowledgeable, talented, and well known book artist. Furthermore, on par with his own talent ranks his ability to teach. Sometimes, I would think up obscure structures, or use difficult materials, and Daniel was always able to think of a solution for how to make my ideas work. While working with him, I didn’t feel as if I was simply learning an old and beautiful art, I felt as if I was inventing my own branch of book arts.

Over the course of six months, all under the guidance of Daniel Kelm, I was able to master many styles of binding as well as start my own company: Tree Song Books. The confidence in my artistic abilities that I gained while working at The Garage Annex School will allow me to continue to take risks in my artistic endeavors. Daniel Kelm helped me learn how to harness my strengths, work through my weaknesses, and find a style of bookbinding that is entirely unique.

—Kyla Allon, Tree Song Books, 2009