Think of the splendidly ornate gilt Rococo chairs that look as if they were made from a pile of scallop shells. …Or the undulating Dutch Baroque forms in which we discover hidden faces and monsters in the curvaceous details. …Or even the Sputnik inspired furniture of the 1950s.
The history of the Decorative Arts has long been salted with designers who delighted us with Fantasy Furniture. Following this tradition, the Canadian designer Judson Beaumont is currently producing some of the best-crafted designs for delight available today.
Beaumont plays with scale. He bends the straight line. And he fools us by making materials look as though they are doing something they simply cannot do. Like Alice in Wonderland, we are dwarfed by the details in Beaumont’s world. Objects look as though they could walk; solid materials seem to melt.
Besides the forms, the craftsmanship is so exquisite that we wonder how each thing was actually made! His details are creamy; all forms are made in the round. Even the backs are finished so beautifully that you are tempted to move the piece away from the wall and out into the center of the room.
As a husband and father of two children, Beaumont finds his interest in childlike imagery and design has been greatly influenced by kids and their liberal acceptance of the bizarre. His “Carrot Dresser” is one of his best known forms: an oversized carrot that Bugs Bunny would fight for doubles as a chest of drawers. “Cindy” is a cabinet that undulates as though it was a cartoon come to life. The “Sullivan Clock” looks like it popped right off the pages of a child’s book. And “Cracked” is a chest of drawers that seems to be ripping itself down the middle!