Sublime craftsmanship - handmade bamboo lamps
“I would like as many people as possible to play with the light, and feel the importance of passing down traditions”, Tani Toshiyuki
10 years to become a master
The Japanese handmade lamps encompasses skilled craftsmanship, history and a modern outlook bringing the ancient craft into contemporary settings and making them relevant and relatable. In Stilleben's flagship store you are able to experience a selection of these works of art up close.
The lamps are designed by Japanese artist Tani Toshiyuki and crafted by Japanese bamboo masters. To become a master takes 10 years of training. It is not an easily acquired skill.
The lamps are Suruga bamboo ware. High quality bamboo has grown wild in the basin of the upper reaches of the Abe River in Shizuoka since ancient times and bamboo ware has been made in this region for thousands of years.
The incredible works of art is woven out of thin bamboo strips measuring as little as 0.8 mm in diameter. The name sensuji, meaning one thousand lines, refers to the fact that a thousand fine bamboo strips can be laid out on a 90 cm wide tatami mat. Significant for this area, this craft uses extremely fine round strips rather than flat bamboo strips.
The production time of each lamp is approximately four to five week - not including the many different time-consuming processes of turning raw bamboo into fine strips.
Poetic craftsmanship of light
The SEN lamps, both table lamp and pendant, are pieces of light art that builds on tradition while re-setting traditional Japanese craftsmanship in a contemporary setting.
Sen means lines in Japanese. The many bamboo strips that are bent into shape create lines as well as shadows. The craftmanship of the lamps builds on the traditional art of takesensuji, a technique traditionally used to make paper lanterns, while adding a modern look and use.
The SEN lamp is handcrafted in Japan using around 600 bamboo strips.
A thousand strips of bamboo
The HOKORE pendant is a marvel to look at, with the interlocking play of light and shadow adding a sculptural feeling to any space.
Hokore means proud in Japanese. The inspiration for the lamp is the strength of a flower bud growing into full bloom. The lamp is carefully handcrafted in Japan using nearly 1000 bamboo strips.
The RON pendant combines the craftsmanship of bamboo with the softness and warmth of the paper shade. A unique feature is that the paper shade can be turned upside down and change the expression of the lamp.
Often paper lamps are constructed with bamboo or wire, but here the Japanese paper is instead wrapped around PET resin and starchy glue to let light through and reduce the shadow of the paper itself.
Danish brand Motarasu encompasses both Japanese and Danish aesthetic sensibilities, design styles and traditions.
Founded in Denmark in 2019 by Mikkel Zebitz, Motarasu's goal is to unite the Japanese and Danish design traditions and create contemporary design rooted in both. Stilleben's Shiro and Yoko series for Motarasu are examples of this.Photos by Motarasu