The Music, Art… and Upholstery of Jack White’s Multimedia Art and Design Co.

Jack White (Photo: Olivia Jean)

Already exploring a number of diverse projects throughout his career—namely the creation of and monster growth of Third Man Records—Jack White is venturing into more familiar territory: art and design.

Jack White Art & Design is a multimedia website and catalog of White’s work throughout his more than 20-year career spanning photography and videos—many never released—in addition to White’s work in more design-oriented disciplines, including furniture and upholstery, interior and industrial design, graphic design, sculpture, instruments and hardware, vinyl concepts, and film.

White’s past with upholstery dates back to 1996 when he opened Third Man Upholstery in Detroit after apprenticing under upholsterer Brian Muldoon. In his shop, White would use the space to write songs and work on sculptures before closing it in 1998 and leaving the words “Jack White was here and part of him will never leave” etched on an interior ceiling beam. 

His work in furniture and upholstery throughout the years spans a myriad of private projects, including the refurbishment of an original Sam Phillips Recording studio couch, a restored office chair for Gillian Welch and David Rawlings of Woodland Studios, and the Aluminum Chair Set, a collection of four chairs, hand-stained and refinished by White during the pandemic in 2020.

The site is an ever-evolving archive of White’s continued work in industrial design, including his concepts for the Third Man Pressing plant and other facilities, including the Third Man Recording Studio in Nashville, while his work in interior design covers Third Man Records shops in Detroit and Nashville and his Three Pin Alley bowling alley and bar. 

On the graphic design front, White has designed all the handmade posters and flyers from 1997-2001 for The White Stripes and his own solo work, in addition to Third Man logos and more. His work in instruments and hardware includes custom-designed guitars, drum kits, the Peppermint Triple Tremolo Unit, and the Diddley Bow, the one-string instrument he constructed in the opening scene of the Davis Guggenheim-helmed documentary It Might Get Loud in 2009.

An innovator of vinyl design, White’s contributions include the Under Label Groove, the Triple Decker Record, the Liquid Filled LP, Tri-Color Records, and the ULTRA LP.

Additionally, Jack White Art & Design also showcases White’s film work and directing,  including music videos with his band The Dead Weather, his solo work, and Third Man artists like The Black Belles and other film series and shorts, in addition to his photography, including images captured using Third Man Records Impossible Film, a custom duochrome instant film created by White and the Dutch company.

“To work with Jack White, to watch him work at anything is to witness the mind of an artist as it explores and problem solves,” says Ben Blackwell, co-founder of Third Man Records. “In carpentry and interior design, being in Jack’s presence during the ideation process, the hypotheticals and head tilting can be both inspiring and maddening.”

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