Art + Design

How-to: Make an Eames Fiberglass Shell Chair.

I love watching manufacturing processes in general, but this video (made for Herman Miller by the Eames Office in 1970) is extra cool since I have so many of these chairs in my house. I just hope that poor guy trimming the fiberglass was wearing a good dust mask. Yikes.

Music by Buddy Collette.

(Thank you, Catherine, for sharing this with me!)

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  • Reply michelle December 12, 2008 at 10:07 am

    rad video, no wonder these chairs last forever. i did cringe a little watching that guy pull the excess fiberglass off the chair with his bare hands.

  • Reply Anna at D16 December 12, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Did you see the notation about newer production techniques at the end? Heh.

    I must say, though, the new “safe” polypropylene shell chairs that Vitra makes for HM are just not the same thing. That’s why I only buy vintage.

  • Reply Catherine December 12, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Ah, you’re welcome! It’s so interesting to see all of the careful crafting and measuring that went into them. If only they weren’t so expensive in Europe… sigh…

  • Reply Christopher Busta-Peck December 12, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Interesting. I’ve been considering, when I have some time, of making some chairs out of a wood veneer mesh using the Herman Miller fiberglass shells as a mould. I got the idea from the work that Joe Harmon is doing, building Splinter ( I love the way that the chairs feel, but my better half wants a slightly more formal looking dining room.

  • Reply Alison December 12, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    This was such an interesting video! I agree about the fiberglass, yikes. Unfortunately that type music so popular at the time always makes me feel anxious so I was on nerves watching all 8 minutes.

  • Reply monica December 13, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    I agree about the music. DH sitting next to me while I watched asked if it was like Peter and the Wolf: the hi-hat is the sewing machine and the flute is the clay, and the upright bass is the fiberglass?

  • Reply tara December 13, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    are you sure that the music wasn’t ron burgundy on the jazz flute?

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