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I cultivated a distrust of furniture early, learning through such classic films as Return to Oz and Fantasia that furniture-coming-to-life scenarios always end in disaster. Jacob Cress, however, caters to a braver demographic: antiquers. And though I still have trouble understanding folks who do not, like me, prefer their furnishings cute and easily destroyed, it turns out that IKEA-haters are not the sinister beings I’d pegged them for. Instead, they’re snatching up Cress’ self-described “animated furniture” with the same zeal that’s kept Antiques Roadshow on the air for more than 200 years. Cress’ 18th- and 19th-century-inspired works demonstrate the skill and precision of a master craftsman manifested through the mind’s eye of a third-grader. The Oops! chair, perhaps his best-known piece, is at first glance a classic Chippendale complete with claw-and-ball feet. But in Cress’ world, one claw has lost hold of its toy, inelegantly reaching out to snatch it back. We all owe Ty Pennington thanks for making carpentry foxy, but Cress has trumped him in making it funny. Cress discusses his work at 3 p.m. at the Renwick Gallery’s Grand Salon, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Free. (202) 357-2700. (Kara McPhillips)