by: Michael Dunas, Sarah Bodine
Jack Larimore makes work like good theater. He sets the scene,
draws us into his story and then touches a nerve with his
performance. Jack's stage is that nebulous space allotted
to "furniture," roughly the immediate area that
circumscribes the things we sit on or put things on, that
are comfortable and that function to help us go about our
daily lives. This stage is a place of interaction, more than
just a good spot for chairs and tables. It is a place where
the human elements confronts the mechanical, where nature
collides with nurture or, when Jack waxes philosophic, where
the intuitive animal in us encounters the cage of reason and
For Jack, furniture must synthesizecombining a little
bit of the natural science of wood, some engineering and some
technology with the human need to enter the world with our
spirit intact by finding a vehicle to "act out"
our personality in the environment of our home.
Jack's furniture generates from a disarming joie de vivre.
The titles: "Walking Vessel", "Gift from Tree,"
"Calla Chairs", "M'Lady's Lilly Table"
and "Three for Alchemy Tea at the Tetra" all create
a mise-en-scene that is endowed with careful timing and skillful
character study. Jack knows how to get the most out of the
ritual enactments of daily life. He knows just the right moment
to make you aware that you are placing your teacup on the
table that resembles one of the most undulating of natural
forms, a lily pad, or that as you are walking over to put
something on a small foyer table, the table looks like it
is actually walking over to you. This moment of self-awareness
is intrinsic to every ritual, and it is one in which traditionally
ritualistic objects play a catalytic role. It is often said
that furniture, at its most elemental, is an elevated surface.
The surface takes on the character of how it is elevated,
and the elevatorthe legs—lends substance to that character.
Jack is a leg man. He energizes his pieces by emphasizing
the vertical membersskinny table legs, crooked chair-back
vertebrae, knock-kneed pedestal risers. These vigorous, wiggling
appendages resemble plants, insects, animals. The organic
spontaneity allows what the legs support to be improbablea
surface that looks like a split walnut, a severed carcass
or a quivering leaf.
Jack like nature. Maybe it's his background in landscape
architecture that surfacespart-building, part-gardening,
organic and manmade, part-transient and part-permanent, inside
and outsidea theater of time and incident, sometimes
under control and sometimes as fickle as the wind.