“Fantastic things being made of wire”

Charles and Ray Eames were always looking for new materials and new ways to create distinctive furniture. In the late 1940s, Charles noted the “fantastic things being made of wire.” That fascination led them to experiment with metal wire rods and mesh, and eventually to develop a mass-production technique for simultaneously welding wire rods—an innovation that resulted in many pieces that have become classics of modern design, including wire chairs, plastic chairs with wire bases, storage units, and elliptical tables.

An angled view of an Eames Wire Base Low Table with a white ash veneer top.

Another result was this compact table, introduced in 1950. Legend has it that these tables were made from material left over from cutting the Elliptical tables out of sheets of plywood. The Eameses used them to conduct chanoyu, the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, for special guests, including sculptor Isamu Noguchi and film pioneer Charlie Chaplin. Today these lightweight, diminutive tables stand on their own, next to beds and chairs as an accompanying surface, or on top of each other in a convenient stack.

The role of the designer is that of a very good, thoughtful host anticipating the needs of his guests.

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Product Designers Ray and Charles Eames