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Elephant's Memory

Elephants are large-brained creatures and are reputed to have good memories, besides being really cute. When I was a kid, I used to repeatedly make elephants in Shop class (aka woodworking class).

Charles & Rae Eames' Playful Elephant

The Eames Plywood Elephant is considered a legend by collectors. Only two prototypes were produced in 1945, both of which were subsequently displayed in an exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art. Charles and Ray Eames were fascinated by these gentle giants.

While I really love my Shop class elephants, I have to admit that they weren't quite as cool as the charming and graceful Charles & Ray Eames elephant pictured above. For my non-designer friends, the Eames are a famous design couple (Ray is the woman) who worked mid-century and whose furniture and useful accessories are adored for their beauty, chicness and smart functioning qualities (lightness, comfort etc.). I had never seen their adorable plywood elephant before but they did delve into toys and other fun accessories besides furniture. Plywood is famous for its grace, beauty, flexibility and strength in fine furniture design and came into its own in that era with new construction techniques.

Another example of a couple who worked passionately together (my ideal), design doesn't get any better or more imaginative than lots of the pieces turned out by the Eames, whose masterful creations are still considered the height of modern interior design. See many beautiful Eames designs at Design Within Reach, Hive Modern and The Vitra Design Museum.

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