Here’s the last sneak peek before Chairs for Charity—the annual auction on 15 redesigned chairs by local artisans—and if you missed the past two previews, check them out here and here. This week we spoke with Jessica Miller, 30, who is the lead architect and co-owner of Lark Architecture.
You can find her working on large scale construction, renovations, and additions in both residential and commercial buildings with her husband, Brad Riemann. When she’s not busy with bigger projects, she loves to work on hands-on-projects for herself on the side. For her, Chairs for Charity sounded like a fun opportunity for her to step back from her grand remodeling projects and give back to the community.
Where did you find the vintage chair?
Several years ago I picked up a few vintage Bertoia wire diamond chair replicas from a boutique hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. They were going to be thrown out and were piled in a heap in one of the unused guest rooms. I hauled them back to Chicago, cleaned them up, and refinished two of them for myself, and the third sat sad and lonely in my basement until January.
What were the materials used to redesign the chair?
Matte black paint and leather hide strips
Where did you find the inspiration for your chair design?
I wanted to create something that matched my own youthful, modern aesthetic, but that would also appeal to an older, perhaps more masculine audience. I wanted something that would look just as good in my living room as it would in my father-in-law’s study.
What was the process of designing and putting together the chair?
I pulled it out of my guest room, cleaned it up, and painted it a perfect matte black. Then came the fun part! I cut dozens of strips of a beautiful, supple, worn leather hide; contoured each strip to the spacing of the wire grid; then began weaving. The weave is a structured pattern of “+” and “=” shapes in leather, mingling with dashes of black wire.
How would you incorporate your chair into a space?
I imagine Harold in a number of settings: In a mid century-styled living room; as a reading chair in the corner of a warm study; in your favorite man’s closet or dressing room. It would work equally well in a bright white modern space styled with warm, natural accents as it would in a dark, wood-paneled study by the fireplace.
Keep in mind that there will be 12 more chairs on top of the three already shown up for auction. The 15 featured designers are Julie Gathman, Todd Heiser and Sheilah Carroll, Jason Hess, Alexandra Kaehler, Kaylan Kane, Jessica Miller, Danielle Moss and Alaina Kaczmarski, Erik Newman and Matt Binns, Brynn Olson, Emily Prendergast, Alicia Rosauer and Robert Segal, Tom Stringer, Dan Sullivan and Edra Soto, Claire Tibbs, and Allison Warren.
Hurry and buy your ticket, we’re only a week away from the event!