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Quemadura Design Exhibition: Books, Posters, and Prints by Jeff Clark. Featuring examination copies of small press books, handmade bookshelves, and a specially commissioned Ronald Johnson text piece designed by Jeff Clark at Quemadura.
"Having returned to the Bay Area from getting an MFA in poetry at Iowa, I started a zine, which meant I had to learn the basics of typography, typesetting, and design. I found that I loved this work, and had a knack for it. Since roughly 1997, and snowballing very slowly, I'd done 'freelance' projects after-hours: friends' books for small presses, posters, etc. I begin with the inside of book: I read a manuscript, then begin to work on devising a basalt text treatment (typeface, size, leading) that befits the work at hand. When I have designed a few pages of pure poetry or prose and am happy with them, feel they're strong and of appropriate aura, I will then hand build the entire book interior. I'll then extrapolate that design to the cover. Interior book typography is my forte; it's metabolic now—I don't consciously think as I'm working, and I'm pleased and energized, as if assembling stones in a garden.
My aims in making a book: paradoxical. I want a book I've done to convey that the studio in which its form has come to life is an artisanal workshop—a woodworker's woodshop, or a mechanic's garage; and every element of a book, also every single page and paragraph, have been addressed, touched, thought about. In recent years I've become more and more interested in, drawn to, fascinated by woodworking and gardening, and these practices have not so much informed, but clarified my design work: I am interested in, and incredibly charged by, the task of making material objects and arrangements of objects that feel, overtly, to have been lavished with intense care and attention. In working with small presses I am among the people I find affinity with. I get to provide labor, craftsmanship, knowledge, and passion to precisely the books that most need it."
- Jeff Clark
Jeff Clark was born in southern California in 1971. He went to Iowa for poetry, then moved to San Francisco and Oakland. Clark currently does book design as Quemadura, after eleven years with Oakland design studio Wilsted & Taylor. His own books are The Little Door Slides Back (Sun and Moon, 1997; reprint FSG, 2004), Music and Suicide (FSG, 2004), and 2A(Quemadura, 2006), written in collaboration with Geoffrey G. O'Brien. He lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with his partner, the poet Christine Hume, and their daughter, Juna Hume Clark.