Einar Barnes was born in Talvik, Northern Norway. During 1935-41 he was a missionary in Manchuria, China, where he also headed up church building projects. In 1945 he moved with his family to Addis Abeba, Ethiopia and worked for the Mosvold Shipping Group. Until 1954 he led Mosvold’s building projects and was rector of the city’s school for applied arts. Afterwards he spent three years with the mission organization Norsk Luthersk Misjonssamband, and then became the manager of the furniture factory Aase Dreieri (1957-61). While working at Aase, the self-taught Barnes designed chairs and other types of furniture. Around 1968 he contacted the furniture factory P.S. Heggen, asking about the prospect of producing two wastepaper baskets – Oval and Rondo. Both were made in laminated wood and had solid wood handles. These wastebaskets were exported to many countries and have since gained iconic status.