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EAMES CHAIR FOUND
I found this Eames-designed Herman Miller chair (pic above) beside a trash heap on garbage night in Park Slope a few nights ago. I recognized it as an Eames/Herman Miller chair and was so excited that I picked it up over my head and ran it home while my girlfriend waited on the curb to go to see Isaac Hayes at the opening night of Celebrate Brooklyn Summer Stage.
When I got home after the show I went online to determine what model chair it was. I quickly discovered it is the Herman Miller – Eames Aluminum Group Management Chair, but it is missing its arms (blue chair at left). It clicked that the arms might have been in the sealed box sitting on the chair seat when I found it; the heavy one I did so quickly tossed aside in my enthusiasm to claim the chair beneath. I ran back out the door at midnight and up the block, but the box was open and empty. Whatever was in it was worth taking. Without the arms, it pretty much looks like the Herman Miller – Eames Aluminum Group Side Chair (black chair on right) but with a tilt base.
Anyway, however exciting a find it seemed at first, as soon as I began looking it over, it because apparent that it would need new upholstery. The seat was torn in several places, but most worrisome was the nasty, foul-smelling dust that fell out of the seat and the spaces between the fabric and the aluminum seat/seatback rails whenever I tugged at it.
I have seen where people have found these chairs before and written in to ApartmentTherapy.com to ask for advice on DIY reupholstery, but all anyone ever seemed to be able to contribute is that they look fairly simple to reupholster, but no one had ever tried. So, since it was a curb find and I decided nothing could be lost by trying to do it myself. This blog is about that effort.
I have never taken a class in technical writing and I feel certain any directions I wrote for the proper assembly of a PB&J sandwich would result in a mess. That said, I am going to do this step by step and provide as many photos as I think to take at critical moments. I will share whatever discoveries I make that might make it easier for the next person to try this at home as I discover them. So, here we go.
yet another eames shell restoration
A little back story to get us started here:
About a month ago I came across another great find on Craigslist. The owner of a music shop nearby was trying to clear out the storage area in his basement under the store. He told me about a guy who used to rent his space as a place to store antique finds and old audio equipment. The guy moved to California without notice and left a few items behind, so up on Craigslist they went. For $125 I walked out with an Eames tandem shell chair bench, a black Saarinen Executive leather/fabric upholstered chair, and the shell you see below along with an H-base I am not using… yet.
Before I get started, I want to thank Morgan at
The Brick House, the people at Chairfag, and
the guys at Manhattan Nest for posting
extremely helpful tutorials on fiberglass chair restoration.
Hopefully, I can add a thing or two that can make
things easier for anyone else out there about to tackle this project.