USPS stamps with Eames designs and pieces.

On Sunday we observed an extraordinary date that called to mind the Powers of Ten. It was the 10th day in the 10th month in the year 2010: 10-10-10.  That’s a lot of Tens.

Charles and Ray Eames–20th Century designers, furniture makers and artists–produced a short film titled: “Powers of Ten,” which aspired to illustrate the relative size of things in our universe. Where do Charles and Ray Eames cross paths with Tommy MacDonald?

For starters, both had furniture pieces in the RISD Museum at one time together. I was there and looked at the Eames piece, then walked 5 steps, looked down a hallway and saw a MacDonald piece. Sure, it was 5 steps and not ten, but a connection is a connection, right?

It’s said that Eames “attempted to humanize the Modern.” And is not Tommy attempting to humanize woodworking?

I read where Pat Kirkham states the Eames’ “…believed that most people had talents and gifts within them which would flourish if nurtured.” I just listened to the Tommy interview by Emily Rooney in which he said that “woodworking is an acquired skill and you have to stay on the learning curve.”

An Eames chair jig.

When you read of Charles and Ray Eames you see words of boundless energy, quality in all things, independence of spirit, joy in life, and that you need to remain inspiring. Spend a little time around Tommy MacDonald and you’ll sense the same things.

Sit back and enjoy the short film “Powers of Ten”. There are two versions, this is the more theatrical 1970’s version the other done in 1968 is rougher and I like better. Paul Shrader of Raging Bull and Taxi Driver fame writes that Powers of Ten “…popularized (in the best sense of the word), post-Einsteinian thought the way the telescope popularized Copernicus…”

Powers of Ten Movie