Tic Tac Toe Fabric Design  circa 1947, ink on gold paper © Ray Eames

Tic Tac Toe Fabric Design
circa 1947, ink on gold paper © Ray Eames

 

Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely and to the best of your ability and that way you might change the world.

– Ray Eames

Letter to Sansi Girard. 1961, ink on paper from Ray Eames

Letter to Sansi Girard. 1961,
ink on paper from Ray Eames

 

Take your please seriously.

– Charles Eames

Drawing of Molded Plywood Chairs by Ray Eames

Drawing of Molded Plywood Chairs by Ray Eames

The problem of designing anything is in a sense the problem of designing a tool. And as in designing a tool it is usually wise to have a pretty clear idea of what you want the thing to do. The need is to fill it’s particular objective.

– Charles and Ray Eames

Dot Pattern fabric design circa 1947,  pencil on tracing paper © Ray Eames

Dot Pattern fabric design
circa 1947,
pencil on tracing paper © Ray Eames

 

Yes, Charles had always been terribly interested in photography. I think it’s been known that his father was a great amateur photographer and had left equipment. His father died when he was very young. He left his equipment and Charles started to read instructions and taught himself about photography. The great joke he always made was that he was making glass plate negatives before hearing that there was such a thing as film, because of having this old equipment. But he learned a great deal. Then he used it always as a tool, photographing architecture, photographing objects, studying it by photographing models. And I think he made some experiments in film when he was at Cranbook. Some film . . . I must check that, I think they might have it. We kept records of everything, but he never shot just a record, he always shot something and made a good-looking photograph.

– Ray Eames

Crosspatch Fabric Design, 1945 © Ray Eames

Crosspatch Fabric Design, 1945 © Ray Eames

 

So, filmmaking — he was always interested in documenting things, and using photographs rather than pages of explanations. He had a very strong belief of being able to see something rather than having to describe it, so we’ve always used photographs for that.

– Ray Eames

Christmas and New Year's Card, 1933-34, pencil on paper © Ray Eames

Christmas and New Year’s Card, 1933-34, pencil on paper © Ray Eames

 

I never thought of myself as an artist and couldn’t bear the word.

– Ray Eames

Christmas and New Year's Card, 1933-34 © Ray Eames

Christmas and New Year’s Card, 1933-34 © Ray Eames

 

It was natural for me not to separate them, you know—now you study history, now you study dance, now you study music, or now you study pottery or whatever it is—it all seemed to be one thing.

– Ray Eames

Dot Pattern, Fabric Design,  circa 1947 © Ray Eames

Dot Pattern, Fabric Design,
circa 1947 © Ray Eames

 

Ray comes to design through painting
and I through architecture –
that this should not be at all surprising
since I feel that most everything is a
form of architecture, certainly all of the
environment that man creates for himself –
and Ray feels that painting is related to
everything and of course I feel that painting
comes under the heading of architecture.

– Charles Eames

Illustrated Happy Birthday letter to Susan Girard © Ray Eames

Illustrated Happy Birthday letter to Susan Girard © Ray Eames

 

Never let the blood show

– Charles Eames

Letter to Sansi Girard from Ray Eames

Letter to Sansi Girard from Ray Eames

 

What works good is better than what looks good, because what works good lasts.

– Ray Eames

Letter to Charles Eames, 1955 from Ray Eames

Letter to Charles Eames, 1955 from Ray Eames