Contemporary Furniture Statement Pieces
Furniture designer Carol Jackson uses innovative techniques and a palette of warm wood tones, satin aluminum and ebonized ash to create spare, elegant forms, often with a touch of asymmetry. Carol Jackson Furniture, based in Eugene, offers coffee tables, console tables, side tables and accent tables, many with inlays of aluminum or ebony to express her unique design concepts.
Jackson’s clients are enthusiastic about the juxtaposition of materials and the clean and crisp appearance created by the contrast. Anodized satin aluminum tubes in the bases are contrasted with re-purposed ash that has been dyed black, a process that reveals the striking open grain in the wood. To give a light and airy look she often floats a table top on aluminum posts, as in Suspended Cubes, her popular wine bar / display cabinet.
After a 25-year career in software engineeering, Jackson earned a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon. She combined that training with decades of woodworking experience to start Carol Jackson Furniture in 2015. Much of her work is shipped out-of-state to web site clients and contacts made through trade shows such as the Philadelphia Furniture Show. Upcoming shows include the American Craft Show in San Francisco. She crafts each piece of furniture herself at a pace that allows her to strive for perfection.
A byproduct of Jackson’s architecture education is a design process that begins with developing a concept. For many of her concepts she draws from earlier degrees in physics, math and computer science. “The world of science and math is rich with ideas that are beautiful when expressed visually and they are free for the taking” says Jackson. In her Sines and Cosines coffee table she has portrayed graphs of those trigonometric functions by inlaying 123 aluminum discs into the table top, using a strip of ebony for the x axis.
Phi is an award-winning coffee table for which CNC technology was used to cut both a large spiral in the makore table top and a matching spiral from a sheet of 1/8 inch aluminum. The aluminum spiral, inlaid in the top, follows the path of successively smaller quarter circles within a Golden Rectangle.
Related to Phi and the mathematics of the Golden Rectangle is the Fibonacci Sequence, a series of integers in which each is the sum of the two that precede it. Fibonacci and Fibonacci II are console tables that depict this sequence by using inlays in the table top as well as by spacing aluminum tubes in the base.
In her Quantum Mechanics coffee table, Jackson has used CNC technology to portray a wave packet which represents the probability of finding a subatomic particle at a specific point in space. The wave packet image is cut 1/4” deep in a bubinga table top and underlaid with an aluminum sheet sandwiched inside the top.
Jackson’s Super Moon coffee table has an abstract horizon composed of closely spaced holes drilled 1/4” deep and underlaid with aluminum sandwiched inside the top. This 3-dimensional landscape shimmers in the light of a full moon.
Geometric shapes are predominant in other works. Pyramid is part furniture, part sculpture. Ebony Squared features square aluminum tubes and square inlays of ebony. Go conFigure is a user-configurable coffee table in which clusters of Douglas fir columns can be positioned within a gridded shelf topped with glass. In Parallelograms, four aluminum rods arranged in a parallelogram connect the front and back base frames at each corner.
Jackson’s furniture work combines several passions that have driven her life: designing, engineering, art, woodworking, science, math and architecture. “But furniture is a slow way to make a living. It helps to have been a software engineer” she says.