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Harry Bertoia Style
Like so many designers, it was through Harry Bertoia's passion for the beautiful  and well-made that he stumbled on furniture design. Born in Italy in 1915, Bertoia took a random trip to visit his brother in  USA in his early teens and stayed there. He began to study the art of design and jewellery-making, before taking up a scholarship at Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1937. There he became close friends with other pioneering designers of his day, including Charles and Ray Eames and founding-father of the Bauhaus movement Walter Gropius.   After graduation, Bertoia initially opened a metal workshop. As the war caught on, however, metal became a rare commodity and he turned his interests to jewellery-making, allegedly designing the wedding rings of Charles and Ray Eames. In 1950, he worked with fellow Cranbrook graduate Florence Knoll. During this period he designed five wire pieces that became known as the Bertoia Collection. Among them was the famous 'Diamond Chair' a fluid, sculptural form made from a molded lattice work of welded steel. Sales of his Collection were so strong that Bertoia was able to turn his attention to sound art and sculpturing. Despite success in this area, however, he is perhaps most well-known for the wire chairs he produced early in his career. Even after his death in 1978, his legacy lives on and his chairs are much-imitated the world-over.