Pampshade: Innovative Jack-O-Croissants and Lamps Made of Bread?!

Yes, it is as wacky and wonderful as it sounds. Japanese artist and former baker Yukiko Morita has married her two passions in setting up PAMPSHADE, an artisanal company that turns real baguettes, croissants and loaves of bread into fully functional lamps.

While studying at Kyoto City University of Arts in the mid 2000s, Morita worked part time at a local bakery for almost five years. “Bread has a completely different ‘expression’ depending on various factors such as temperature, humidity, yeast condition, and the baker. As I learned more about bread, I became more and more fascinated with it” she has expressed. 

However, the idea of turning bread into lamps was birthed by accident. Morita was inspired to use baked goods as the focus for a photography project while at uni. She would shoot thinly sliced pieces of bread in a forest, which were then scrutinised under a microscope to observe the mould that grew on them. One day, while studying a thinly sliced crust with the crumbs hollowed out, the sun shone through the window and made the bread appear to glow.

“I found it made the bread shine!” she explains. “It perfectly described the ‘charm of bread’ that I was looking for. This was the beginning of the PAMPSHADE. This discovery was made in 2008 and it took a further eight years for PAMPSHADE to be born. Taking its name from pan (the Spanish word for bread) and lampshade, the company now ships bread-themed items internationally.

The lamps seem almost too odd to be real bread (and yes it’s real bread) and if you’re wondering how exactly Morita goes about creating it, it’s unlikely you’ll find the answer I’m afraid. Yukiko is remaining tight-lipped about how the bread is prepared and treated – we don’t blame her, the appeal is so unique. “The details are a secret, but our creative process starts with buying ‘unsold bread’ from several bakeries. By purchasing the unsold bread, the bakeries are happy, and it leads to a sustainable creative activity.”

What she will tell you is that the bread is “well treated with antiseptic and mildew proofing. Within the scope of normal use, they can be used semi-permanently. However, be careful not to break them!” So you don’t have to worry about them going off too soon!

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