Eames House Bird ~ From Art to Fame

Charles and Ray Eames had never intended to put this object into production. For over fifty years, this black bird display ornament stood quietly in the centre of their own living room away from the fame that its cousins are getting after being brilliantly created by its owners.

Vitra’s re-production – Dubbed the Eames House Bird

But this little black wooden bird could not hide forever and shot to fame when the Eames put it together with a group of Eames DKR chairs for a Poster shoot. Thereafter, this minimalist bird appeared as an accessory in several Eameses’ photographs.

When the Bird meets the World…

One of the Eameses’ most prized possessions of the American Folk Art, the bird figure originated from the Appalachian mountain region of Eastern United States. Utilizing 3D scans of the original artefact and with the cooperation of the Eames family, Vitra re-produces this sculpture in solid Alder with a black lacquer finishing and steel wire legs. Dubbed the Eames House Bird, it is a popular artwork attributed to Charles & Ray Eames. Although the Eames collected it rather than designed it, they brought the simplistic bird to fame, probably with their influence of their own fame.

Work of Art or Brand? I would say, more of the Former.

Well, many of us are just simply fascinated with designer stuff and will jump at it simply because of the brand. This is the power of branding and the value of Brand Equity. I must admit that I often fall prey to such corporate marketing strategies (I believe you can tell from my posts! :)) and got attracted to such designer stuffs. Somehow, even if the designer items does not strike you on your first look, it grows on you. Is this brand power or is it the artistic nature of the designer pieces? I guess, its a mixture of both. Take the Bend Sofa from B&B Italia for example. I did not like it when I first saw it as a singular sofa in a colour not really appealing to me (purple) in last year’s Space Asia Hub Sale. However, I fell in love with it the 2nd time I saw the advertisement of the sofa on Space Asia Hub’s Mid-Year Sale this year. This time, Space Asia Hub advertised it with a picture of the Bend Sofa with different modules combined and in a much more neutral and easily acceptable colour, beige. It exudes such a different feel that it did not occur to me that they are the same sofa sets!

Ok, back to the Eames House Bird topic. It appeals to me not because it’s from Vitra nor because it was branded as an Eames design. It appealed to me because of the pictures below. The row of Eames House Birds and putting the House Bird together with nature looks all so surreal to me. We can all tell that they are not real birds, but for some reasons, they feel very much alive to me. Hence, the surreal experience and the desire to get one. This wooden black bird also screams Minimalism which should find my next home comfortable and a place for it.

Surreal Bird in Black…

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