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Miniature Plywood Elephant Natur

By Vitra


  • Description

    Each Vitra miniature is true to the original in construction and materials, and reduced in size on a scale of 1:6. Each miniature is packaged in a wooden box, accompanied by an informational booklet. Production notes: Each of the delicate objects are made by hand; on average, each miniature requires five hours of careful manual work. Ongoing quality control ensures that every miniature corresponds to its larger original in terms of finishing, details and materials.

    The Plywood Elephant holds a prominent place among the plywood pieces designed by the Eameses. In the early 1940s Charles and Ray Eames successfully developed an innovative method for moulding plywood into three-dimensional shapes, which they used to produce
    a wide range of furniture and sculptural objects. Among the early plywood designs, the Elephant is one of the most difficult to produce. Tight angles and compound curves require
    a sophisticated mastery of plywood technology.
    Designed at the same time as their children's furniture, the Plywood Elephant can also be seen as a playful counterpart to the leg splints developed by the Eameses for military applications – which were the very first mass-produced objects made of threedimensionally moulded plywood. Requiring complex fabrication methods, the Plywood Elephant never went into production. Only two prototypes were made, both of which were displayed at the New York Museumof Modern Art in 1945-46. Today only one known model remains in the possession of the Eames Family. In 2007 Vitra produced the first commercial production of the legendary Eames Plywood Elephant as a limited Collector's Edition.

  • Technical Info

    H7 x W7 x D13 cm

    Materials: Three-dimensionally moulded plywood, natural maple, nickle plated screw.

  • Designer
    Charles & Ray Eames

    Charles Eames, born 1907 in St. Louis, Missouri, studied architecture at Washington University in St. Louis and opened his own office together with Charles M. Gray in 1930. In 1935 he founded an architectural firm with Robert T. Walsh. After receiving a fellowship in 1938 from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, he moved to Michigan and assumed a teaching position in the design department the following year. In 1940, he and Eero Saarinen won first prize for their joint entry in the competition Organic Design in Home Furnishings organized by the New York Museum of Modern Art. During the same year, Eames became head of the department of industrial design at Cranbrook, and in 1941 he married Ray Kaiser.

    Ray Eames, née Bernice Alexandra Kaiser, was born in Sacramento, California in 1912. She attended the May Friend Bennet School in Millbrook, New York, and continued studies in painting under Hans Hofmann through 1937. During this year she exhibited her work in the first exhibition of the American Abstract Artists group at the Riverside Museum in New York. She matriculated at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1940 and married Charles Eames the following year.

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  • Delivery

    4-6 weeks

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