Resembling sea urchins plucked from the deep, these lanterns are in fact made from fabric that has been twisted, compressed, and bound into precise patterns using shibori, a traditional Japanese technique much like tie-dyeing. The results are sculpted shades that marry a 400-year-old tradition with modern lighting forms.
The lamps are produced by Suzusan, a German company headed by Hiroyuki Murase, who originally moved to Europe to study sculpture at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and began importing fabrics hand-made by his family in Japan to sell as scarves. That business eventually expanded to include luminaires: “The idea was to present the refined tridimensional fabrics as artworks of light,” Murase writes.
Each handcrafted shade is one of a kind and comes in a variety of versions, including pendant and floor-standing models, and four distinctive patterns. Best of all, the polyester sculptures don’t have to be handled with kid gloves. They’ve been heat-treated to keep their shape and can be thrown into the washing machine for cleaning.
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