This chair, with its thin plywood shells molded in curves that offered comfort without the application of upholstery, was the result of Ray and Charles Eames’s intensive exploration with bent plywood in the early 1940s. In the spare–bedroom–turned–workshop of their Los Angeles apartment the couple created their own plywood–molding apparatus. Called the “Kazam!” machine or “magic box,” the apparatus consisted of a bicycle pump that inflated a rubber bag, creating the pressure under which the laminated wood was molded. At the same time Ray produced molded plywood sculptures, experimenting with additional and varying layers of wood and more complex curves.
Gallery label from Designing Modern Women 1890–1990, October 5, 2013–October 1, 2014.