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Carved Spreader 3


A key conceptual feature of the Eames Aluminum Group is the pair of aluminum spreaders that hold the upholstery taut between two aluminum side members. These spreaders create the necessary tension for transforming fabric into a supportive seat and backrest. Dubbed “antlers” by the Eames Office staff thanks to their distinctive shape, one spreader is located midway up the chair’s back and doubles as a handle. The other is located underneath the seat and serves both to stretch the textile and to attach the body of the chair to its base. In the process of developing the chairs, Eames Office staff member Robert Staples carved eight variations on the antler form in wood before the final shape was determined. When creating these wooden prototypes, the Eameses had to be mindful of the changes that the shape would inevitably undergo when cast in aluminum. Specifically, the aluminum versions of the chairs’ structural elements are somewhat smaller and their curves slightly smoother than their wooden predecessors. In order to successfully anticipate how a wooden prototype will translate to a final cast form, a designer needs a keen understanding of material properties and production processes. This kind of attunement to industrial parameters was central to the Eameses’ belief that designers should take into account the specific industrial processes through which their designs would be made.

  • Medium:Wood
  • Dimensions:3 x 18 3/4 x 4 1/16 in. (7.6 x 47.6 x 10.3 cm)
  • Item:P.2019.2.4.8