Wednesday, 29 December 2010

“Take your pleasures seriously” Charles Eames

I have been trying to work out what to say about Charles and Ray Eames, for anyone reading this who you doesn’t know who they are, but think maybe posting a couple of links will be better:

I am by no means an expert about them, I just think they are the bee’s knees. They were architects, furniture designers, film makers, photographers, fabric designers, they even designed leg splints that were used by the US Navy in WWII. A husband and wife team who believed that you can do whatever you want to in life if you have the vision and motivation to do so.  A very inspirational couple indeed at a time when I need inspiring!

Working from the 1930’s up until the 1980’s, they frequently used new materials, new shapes and new techniques in their designs which were often ground breaking and very ahead of their time. Probably one of the most recognisable pieces of furniture that they created, is the Eiffel Base Shell chair. Designed in 1948 it has a fibre glass seat resembling a turtle shell, with legs inspired by the construction of the Eiffel Tower. I have always loved these chairs and after my father passed away in 2006, I used some money he left me to buy 4 white chairs with walnut bases. I hoped he might approve of me buying something that I can keep forever that is not only useful but looks good too, but equally he could have thought I was wasting my cash! I guess I’ll never know. Anyway, at first I didn’t really want anyone sitting on them (which is silly really) and especially no one over a certain weight, however, now I love that they get used on a regular basis. It means that every time we use them, not only do we get a comfy seat, it also reminds me of my Dad.

Another item which is synonymous with Mr + Mrs Eames is the Eames House Bird.  It is a wooden bird based on an object of American folk Art that the Eames’ had picked up on their travels and kept in their living room for over 50 years. The Wig (after quite a few hints) knew that I wanted one of these birds and very kindly brought me one for Christmas. I love it. I have no idea where it will live since anyone who has been to my flat knows it is rather like a museum with every surface covered by some sort of collection or other, but I’m sure I will find some corner or other for it.  Hopefully, sitting on my Eiffel Chair while being watched by the Eames House Bird will help inspire me for the New Year ahead, you never know, stranger things have happened.

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