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vive la différence – charles & ray eames




I’m always surprised how quickly a month goes by. We’re nearly in August, schools have broken off for the summer and the big 50 is looming large. Meanwhile, we have another Vive la Différence post. Great news!

I’m excited to feature Katy Orme who writes the blog Apartment Apothecary. An interior design and crafts blog, Katy suggests design and craft ideas and gives out helpful tips for getting your living space just the way you want it. She lives in Bermondsey, London.

For new readers:

The concept: each month I will invite one blogger. They will create and showcase one image/vignette. There are 20 themes and 20 objects for my guest to choose from. They choose 1 theme and up to 3 objects. I will then create an image/vignette based on their choice. Everyone has free reign on how to create the image. It can be simple photography, a drawing, a collage, a hand-painted image, a styled table top… the choice is yours! The fun part is that you, my readers, will see 2 versions inspired by the same subject matter. There is no right or wrong. There’s just ‘different’.

Katy chose the theme: Charles & Ray Eames…. with the objects: Art Supplies.  Here is Katy’s Vignette.

I was so excited and honoured when Tina asked me to be part of her Vive La Différence series as I love a creative challenge. I very quickly latched onto the Eames theme as I am interiors obsessed and I decided to step out of my comfort zone, inspired by Tina’s artistic flair, and use art supplies to represent the theme as each piece of furniture is a work of art in itself.

I started by thinking about what has made Eames furniture stand out as iconic art pieces that have grown in popularity since the 1940’s. I looked at my own Eames desk chair from different angles and it struck me that the shape and form of the chairs are recognisable by anybody, from any angle, even just a silhouette; you can’t say that about many pieces of furniture.

So, I decided to focus on the silhouette and I drew (I can’t draw to save my life!) a really basic outline of three different Eames chairs, that I love, from different angles. I then transferred the sketch onto lino to make a stamp, which was my first attempt at lino cutting. I always try to make useful things so I stamped a set of postcards. I just hope you can recognise each of the silhouettes!

Katy Orme - Charles & Ray Eames - VLD
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I’ve had a fascination with Charles & Ray Eames what seems forever. I remember when I bought my Hang it All many moons ago. It was the very first design piece and I still love it.

My Vignette has been inspired by the excellent Documentary EAMES: The Architect and the Painter I first saw when it was released back in 2011. I was mesmerised. Until then I knew that the Eames were a creative duo, that they build Eames House and that their chairs were iconic. The documentary shows us the Eames world in it’s entirety, from their iconic Eames Office, the incredible portfolio of work, to their marriage and all facets of their personalities.. I’ve re-watched it numerous times since.

The skeleton of my piece is based around the side view of Eames House (with some artistic licence). In it I tried to celebrate the many different disciplines this design duo undertook. I’m sharing with you some of my favourite pieces and quotations. I also wanted to highlight that I’m not in favour of buying fakes. I know it’s a controversial subject, but I feel quite strongly about it.

The soft padded chair (bottom left) is my absolute favourite office chair in the world. As I wouldn’t buy a fake, I’m still saving the pennies. I once saw a yellow leather one in someone’s home office and have never forgotten it. I’m still hunting for that one.

The pencil drawing of the Eames Lounger is representing the required ‘Art Materials’.

Tina Bernstein - Charles & Ray Eames - VLD

Images clockwise from top:

Charles and Ray Eames with ampersand and exclamation point, (1962). © Eames Office, LLC 2011.
Drawing of Eames Lounge, Google images.
Eames Soft Pad chair in white: Herman Miller.
For authentic Eames products go to Herman Miller and Vitra. If you love everything Eames, then take a look at the Eames official site and the Eames shop.

It remains for me to thank Katy for taking part and trying her hand at Lino cutting. I love your stamps and can’t wait for my very own postcard to arrive in the post!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m always so amazed at the creativity of my guest’s Vignettes. It might look easy, but it’s not (ask them). My consolation is that everyone without fail tells me how much they’ve enjoyed the challenge. And all of you challenge me in return. I’d say that’s a result! So thanks to all of you that have participated.

13 Responses to “vive la différence – charles & ray eames”

  1. It is so interesting to see the similarities and differences between our interpretations. The colours we’ve used are almost identical! Love the quotes you’ve included, too (need to remind myself often that function is just as important as beauty!). Thank you again for inviting me to take part – such an interesting and unique blog series xx

    • tina says:

      As I always see my guests submission before I ‘sort of start’ mine (I’m always thinking of my take on it) I can adjust.
      When I looked at The Eames House they actually used these colours BUT I also thought it would compliment your Vignette.

      I’m always humbled and amazed when submissions come in because the beauty of this series is exactly that… “Vive la Différence”.
      Of course, I’m sure some people favour some here and there but that’s not the point. The point is to show how different we all are, how different we all create, interpret and think. That’s the magic for me!!

      Some of the Eames quotes are amazing and I was so inspired by that Documentary (if you haven’t seen it, please do) that I wanted to capture as much as I could in my Vignette.

      You are most welcome. Thank you for playing along, especially since your work space is being refurbished. It’s great to have you here:-) xx

  2. P.S. Postcards in the post x

  3. alisonsye says:

    Another great one. I agree, Tina, the beauty of this series is the huge variety, all great and all so different.
    Nice to meet you, Katy, love the postcards.
    Yellow leather – yum!

    • tina says:

      Thanks Alison. I so enjoy seeing everyone’s talent.
      The yellow one is really amazing!

  4. Igor says:

    THE design couple! Such a great theme and wonderful interpretations of both of you. I admire the Eames story. So much to learn and draw from!!

    • tina says:

      Ha. Glad you like it Igor. The Eames were so talented. I hope you get to see the Documentary.

  5. Anna says:

    Lovely post all round – LOVE Eames, they were one of my first design heroes back when I was a student. And the linocuts are so lovely, really capture the wonderful shapes of the chairs. One day I may own one…

    • tina says:

      Thank you Anna and hello!

      I know what you mean. They were also design heroes for me as a student.
      Own a chair or a postcard? Hahaha. Only kidding. The postcards are fab!!

  6. Mel says:

    Hi Katy, nice to meet you here! Well I think you draw amazingly well, and such a cool idea to do the lino cutting and stamps. Very effective. Tina – bravo you. I say no to fakes too, be it furniture, clothes, watches. There’s so many high street brands that are influenced by the original designs anyway.. cool collage. Well done ladies! Mel xx

    • tina says:

      I also think Katy can draw… not sure I’m any better!

      Yes, have a bit of a thing against fakes. Why be a wannabe. There are so many talented designers out there. Go and buy their stuff instead, I say!
      Thanks Mel, glad you like xx

  7. Two of my all-time beloved designers. They were & still are incredible. Thanks Katy & Tina for this VLD. And Katy your stamps & renderings are great! Love the rocker especially :-) Tina, I have also seen the yellow Eames office chair and yes, it is divine! Loving your take on the Eames House!

    Gxx

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