Ricky Watts spends the workday in a studio in Sebastopol, CA, that he once shared with his grandfather, Arthur. Today, Ricky's Embody Chair shares the space with an Eames Lounge and Ottoman first owned by Arthur and his family. Take a look at the workshop and hear the story behind the Eames piece -- as told in a charming recollection from Ricky's mother.
"In the summer of 1963, we moved into a 1940′s stucco house in San Anselmo. It had a large, well-lit area -- empty except for a dining table and three chairs at one end, a hi-fi at the other, four Parsons-style end tables, and a matching coffee table (made by my cabinetmaker grandfather). It was the heyday of Swedish modern, and my parents were both working and had saved enough money to have -- for the first time in their lives -- a living room that was in style. So off we went one Saturday to buy furniture in San Francisco. It's probable that from his former profession in architecture, my dad had cards that got him into high-quality showrooms. I was 16, the decorating gene had skipped me. What I loved were books, so armed with a copy of 'Betsy in Spite of Herself' by Maud Hart Lovelace (Betsy and I were the same age), I planned to spend the day reading in comfortable chairs. They bought, that day, a mustard and grey Swedish modern sofa, a black Swedish modern chair, and a 3″ x 5″ red Rya rug. I was underwhelmed: they were uncomfortable and, to my eyes, ugly; the mustard was a disgusting color and all three items were wool -- to which I was allergic. However, I'd had a splendid time with Betsy, curled up in a seriously comfortable chair. When they were ready to leave, they came to find me. 'Do we have to leave?' I asked, stretching in the Eames Lounge. They looked, not at me, but at the chair. They knew what it was; they'd admired Charles and Ray Eames for years. And they needed one more chair. The rest is history. If you look at the feet, you'll see scratch marks from Jack, the Springer spaniel puppy who hated being left alone and took it out on the furniture: he gnawed the Eames Chair legs, jumped on the coffee table so often his claws gouged out long tracks, and tore up feather pillows on the Rya rug. So much for style."(Images: Ricky Watts) Republished in partnership with Herman Miller Lifework. Originally posted by Amy Feezor.