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Charles and Ray Eames Furniture: Obsessed with cool furniture…Us too!

Charles and Rays Eames Furniture

History will always remember Charles and Rays Eames for their gracious contribution to modern architecture and furniture in America. They were both American Designers’ whose passion for designs and creativity brought them to the limelight.

Many architectural designs and modern furniture in America are credited to these duo designers. In fact, the Eames Lounge Chair is one of their most popular designs.  Currently, we have pre-owned Eames soft pad chairs for sale in a modern industrial conference room setting. 

Outside architecture and furniture, Charles and Rays Eames also worked in the area of industrial and graphic designs, fine arts and more importantly film. They worked together as creative partners and left a legacy in the field of architecture and modern furniture.

According to an article published on BBC by WilliamCook on the 18thof December, 2017, “Charles and Rays Eames were the two most influential designers of the 2oth century”.   These couples work together as creative partners to create designs that still inspire people.

About Charles Eames

Charles Eames was born in St. Louis, Missouri in the year 1907. He schooled in the neighborhood where he started developing an undying passion for architecture and engineering. His passion for engineering and architecture won him entrance to Washington University at St. Louis.

However, things didn’t really work out well for Charles Eames from the onset as he encountered some challenges when climbing the rung of greatness ladder. In fact, he was thrown out of University due to his advocacy of Frank Lloyd Wright.

As part of his effort to follow his passion, he started working in an Architectural office. He married his first wife, Catherine Woermann in 1929 and they divorced in 1941. Prior to his divorced, he started his own architectural office in 1930. During this period he brought his creativity to play as he extended his designs beyond architecture.

His work attracted attention of several and he later received a fellowship at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan where he rose to the position of head of the design department.

About Ray Kaiser Eames

Ray Kaiser Eames was born in Sacramento, California in the year 1912. Since childhood, she has always been passionate about Art, this led to her studying painting with Hans Hofmann in New York. After studying there for a while, Ray moved to Cranbrook Academy where she was an assistant to Charles.

Interestingly, Charles and Ray married in 1941 and moved to California afterward to continue their designs work. In California, they work with Molding Plywood and came up with different breathtaking and amazing furniture designs that got people talking.

Ray brought a playfulness to their designs.  She would hang art on the ceilings so she can see it when lying down. 

Their major breakthrough was during World War II when the United States Navy Commissioned them to produce molded plywood splints, stretchers, and experimental glider shell.

The way the duo spread their talents across different facets of designs made them the greatest designers in the 290thcentury. It is still mind blowing how their designs still remain influential even after 4 decades of Charles death and 3 decades of his wife and creative partner, Ray’s exit from the world.

It may interest you to know that there is a new exhibition at the Vitra Museum that gives a detailed account of the career of this dynamic and creative couple. The life and story of Charles and Ray Eames is indeed a great inspiration to many designers out there.

Eames Popular Furniture Designs

Eames Aluminum Group

The Eames Aluminum Group was designed in 1958 as outdoor seating for industrialist J. Irwin Miller’s home, being designed by Eero Saarinen in Columbus, Indiana.  Architect and interior designer Alexander Girard picked out the interior & tapped his friends, Charles & Ray Eames, for the outdoor seating. 

This chair was very unique for the departure of a solid shell design.  Instead, the aluminum group chair gives you comfort from the suspension of using a solid piece of upholstery attached to the aluminum side ribs.

Eames Soft Pad Chairs

A decade later, the Eames added more comfort to their original design by adding individual cushions to the aluminum group chairs.  We say an Eames soft pad chair is therapy for your tushy.  Video review of Eames soft pad chair.

5 Things You Don’t Know About Charles and Ray Eames

#1. Charles Was Thrown Out of School

Charles Passion for architecture won him a Scholarship to study Architecture in Washington at St. Louis. Sadly, he was thrown out of school due to his ardent devotion to the practices of Frank Lloyd Wright. This actually didn’t go well with his tutors, thus the reason for him being thrown out after two years of study.

#2.  Charles Proposal to Ray Was in a heartfelt Letter

You probably didn’t know that Charles proposed to Ray in a humorous, heartfelt letter. Very romantic and the choice of words was something any rational lady wouldn’t reject.

After reading the letter, Ray accepted the proposal and they married a month later. Interestingly, their honeymoon was a road trip to Los Angeles.

#3. Their First Design Studio Was Their Spare Bedroom

We often talk about the groundbreaking success of Charles and Rays – the famous American designers. Nobody wants to know how they started. Do you know that their first design studio was their spare bedroom in their house in Los Angeles? Yeah! You probably don’t know, they really started with very little.

It was in their first studio ( A Spare bedroom) that they build their renowned and breathtaking homemade molding machine.

#4. They Designed Revolutionary Leg Splints For Soldiers During The World War II

The plywood moulding Charles and Ray created was first used as emergency splints for transporting soldiers injured during World War II. It was during this time they also created stretchers and experimental glider shell.

Plywood moulding was something Eero Saarinen & Charles Eames had worked on together.  They entered their Organic Chair in the MoMa design competition in 1940 and won. 

#5. They Saw Innovation as Last Resort

Charles and Ray always saw innovation as last resort. According to Charles, “Designers should innovate as last resorts”. He claimed that “More horror is done in the name of innovation than other”. This was a core Eames foundation.

In fact, Charles and Ray turned down a huge commercial contract offered to them by Budweiser. The contract was to redesign their logo.

The offer made for the contract was tempting and mouthwatering. However, these distinguish American designers turned down the offer stating that there is no good reason to change the existing design.

Charles Eames Quotes

“We don’t do art, we solve problems.” Charles Eames

“We want to make the best for the most for the least.” Charles Eames

“Anything I can do, Ray can do better” Charles Eames

“We think of ourselves as tradesmen, people come to us for things.” Charles Eames

“What works good is better than what looks good for what works good lasts.” Ray Eames

 “The real questions are does it solve a problem? Is it serviceable? How is it going to look in 10 years?” Charles Eames

“To be realistic one must always admit the influence of those that have gone before.” Charles Eames

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