January 15, 2013
When Ray Eames entered this textile design in a 1947 competition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, she titled the print “Brown and Black Free Shapes on a White Ground.”
One might find the title a bit uninspiring, in light of the whimsical, other worldly creatures vacillating across the fabric. But considering Ray’s background in Expressionist painting—she trained with Hans Hofmann—the title makes perfect sense. Ray would have been more concerned with the basics of shape, color, and scale. And, perhaps, she would have expected others to be more impressed with her execution of these elements than with the vibrancy and character of her “Sea Things”— the name by which the textile is commonly known.
Whether you are compelled by the brilliance of her abstract composition or by her fanciful creatures, one thing is clear. “Sea Things” is yet another example of the creative, playful, and colorful mind of Ray Eames.
March 8, 2012
Faced with answering this question, Anna Hernandez of Luna Textiles found inspiration in the, “shapes and forms of contemporary architecture.” The resulting patterns—Connection, Current, and Circuit—form a new fabric collection developed exclusively for Herman Miller.
“Inspiration is subtle,” says Hernandez, “it may express itself in small ways. Some especially evident to architects and designers in the profession.” Connection for instance, while a geometric pattern, forgoes 90-degree angles. “Modern architects who design buildings without straight lines will recognize these forms.”
Grass cloth, a popular textural material of mid-century interiors, inspired the tiny gird pattern of Current. “It’s not symmetrical,” explains Hernandez, “it’s a little off, giving the pattern a more natural look with a mid-century feeling,” while Circuit pays homage to round, organic forms common to the 1950s.
Drawing on her inspirations, Hernandez aspired to a timeless collection, “that responds to the moment, but without being specific to a brief period of time.”