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History of the Eames Elephant
In the early 1940s American designers, Charles and Ray Eames invented a technique of molding plywood into three-dimensional shapes. This technique helped them create unique-shaped furniture. One of those designs was a two-piece elephant, which prototype was given at first as a present to their 14-years old daughter. Due to its technically challenging curves, the Eames Elephant never made it to mass production.
The Eames’ designed the Elephant as a children’s toy and stool, but it has become a popular design classic that can be used anywhere.
The 2007 release was made solely by Vitra in Europe and consisted of 2000 limited edition numbered pieces split equally into either Maple or red aniline dye. Each Eames Elephant of the production was given a unique serial number, found on the underside label. The reason for the release was to celebrate what would have been Charles Eames’ 100th birthday.
The original 1945 Elephant prototypes were made using Birch. The 2007 release utilized both natural and dyed Maple and the later editions have Cherry. The post-2017 versions are only in Cherry Wood and have a darker grain than the 2007 Maple and carry the modern Vitra label for authenticity.
Several years ago, Vitra, the official shop built by the married Eames couple, started the production of a plastic version of the legendary elephant and it is now available in many colours to match your interior design.
The plastic version targets the initial group – children. Strong polypropylene makes the elephant safe and durable for children and its size is big enough for them to sit on.
It also comes with a smaller version – with an identical design but reduced in scale.
Whether selected as an elegant wooden object for the living room, as a robust plastic toy for a child’s bedroom or outdoor use, or as a small decorative animal figure – the friendly animal will bring warmth and coziness to parents and their children.
What are the original sizes of the Eames Plywood Elephant?
Height 41.5 cm
Width 41 cm
Depth 78.5 cm
Eames Elephant comes in 2 versions.
The initial elephant was made of plywood (cherry), and it is the most sustainable version of the two. It’s a natural product made from renewable resources. Therefore, it is one of the most environmentally friendly decorative products available to the consumer.
The second version is made of polypropylene and comes with many colours to choose from. Technically, it is plastic, but polypropylene is more environmentally friendly than some other plastics. It’s recyclable and doesn’t release as many toxins as plastics such as PVC. It also breaks down more quickly, taking just 20-30 years compared to over 500 years for some other plastics.
Ommik suggests you purchase the plywood version of the Eames Elephant to support sustainable living and fight climate change.
Purchase the Eames Elephant
You can configure and purchase different versions of the Eames Elephant in Vitra – the official built by Charles and Ray Eames.
Photo credits: VITRA INTERNATIONAL AG | vitra.com