After the huge success obtained with the Molded Fiberglass and Plywood chairs, in the early 50s Charles and Ray Eames designed a chair that will become a Mid-Century design classic: the Eames Wire Chair.
(pics via HermanMiller.com)
The Eames Wire Chair is an iconic seat with sculptural qualities difficult to find in those years.
Even though the design remembers the previous fibreglass chairs, the Wire Chair uses a completely different technology to be manufactured.
The rim of the chair is a double light-gauge wire without cross-weaving on the external borders, this ‘tricks’ made the chair lighter and cheaper to produce: a primary aspect in all the Charles and Ray Eames projects.
As the Molded Fiberglass and Plywood Chairs, also the Wire Chairs were designed to be comfortable without any upholstery, however they also designed ‘special’ pads.
The first pads were, in fact, too ‘movable’ on the seat wired web and that’s why Charles and Ray Eames developed a special pad that was more ‘stable’ avoiding the original issue. The pads were originally made of fabric and afterwards of leather; especially the so called ‘bikini’ pad creates an amazing motif.
Like the Molded Fiberglass chairs, also the Wire Chair was suitable to have different bases. The most iconic one is the ‘Eiffel Tower’ for sure, which creates a dramatic vision of fine cross-hatching of chrome and a perfect match with the wired seat.
If you are passionate about Mid-Century Modern design you probably also know the Harry Bertoia’s Diamond chair for Knoll which has a similar design of the Eames’ one.
The two chairs were launched in the same period, this caused a ‘debate’ -in those days- to decide which of the two chairs come first: today is clarified that the Wired Eames chair has been patented first.
A Piece of Art
As I wrote at the beginning, the Wired chair has undoubtedly sculptural qualities that Charles and Ray achieved using a manufacturing base that was unaffected by the war, the technology they used allowed them to create rational and sculptural designs, advocating organic Modernism. That’s why -as other Eames works- the Wired chair is part of the permanent collection in numerous museums, including the MOMA.
Today the Wire Chair is still produced by Herman Miller that recently updated the classic Molded Plastic chairs line with new colors as I wrote in New and Old Molded Plastic Eames Chairs.
Check it out to read also a short story about these amazing chairs.
Do you have an Eames Wire Chair or would you like to have one? Let it me know in the comments!
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