An array of beautiful artwork hangs upon a wall — photographs of lovely women adorned with embroidered roses. They grace the room with their unusual, expressive style. The dinner party enters – but where are the chairs? Smiling, the host or hostess takes down the lovely works of art and transforms them into chairs. As each chair unfolds, it is almost as if the guests can now sit on the laps of the beautiful women. When the meal is finished, the chairs are once more folded and returned to the wall.
In ages past, the Shakers designed chairs that could be hung upon walls. It was their way of clearing the floors so that they could be used to dance out their religious fervor. Mercedes Eirin brings a different sort of fervor to her artwork. The pictures – each based upon a woman who has a family and meaningful work – focuses upon the combined strength and delicateness that is the hallmark of today’s woman. In some of the pictures, the women have spikes on their hands. But on their faces are embroidered roses.
The women are painted on sheets of aluminum, then the embroidered roses are added. The aluminum sheets are placed on the back and seat of a sturdy folding chair. When the chair is folded, the seat and back form a framed picture – quite elegant and as lovely as any set of paintings in a gallery. When unfolded, the face becomes the back of the chair, and the lower panel becomes the seat. It is an incredibly charming and practical answer to the question of what to do with the folding chairs between uses. Thus, the chairs are an illusion of beauty that hides a very practical solution to extra seating for guests.
Universo Eirin is Mercedes Eirin’s company. She has 20 years of experience working nationally and internationally in spaces and industrial design. Begun in 1997, the Eirin brand is known for creating beautiful artwork that is actually a practical solution to product design challenges. She partners with Luigi, Raul, Alvaro and Marta to make these wonderful designs possible.
The ILLUSION chairs come in six different designs, but each displays the common theme: on the women’s faces are roses, but on their hands, throats or even the side of their faces are thorns. They maintain their beauty in the face of adversity. It is not easy to be a mother, a wife and a career woman and yet retain that ageless mystery that is woman.
You can learn more about the making of the ILLUSIONS by visiting the ILLUSIONS Art-Work Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign website. There, you will be treated to well-designed videos about the making of these lovely, yet utilitarian, pieces. If you would like to own one, a pledge of €700 will net for you an ILLUSION, plus extra aluminum panels with Manuel’s lovely paintings. If you love artwork and quirky design solutions to practical problems, then this is a crowdfunding campaign for you. If that is a little beyond your budget, but you love the concept design, you can contribute smaller amounts or you can spread the word through your favorite social media. This ILLUSION is a unique solution to a common household problem – the very hallmark of Mercedes’ designs.