Bread is a simple comfort food—you just have to mix flour, yeast, water, and endure a little trial and error to get it just right. But once it's gone stale, you'd be forgiven for tossing a few hunks to the birds outside without giving it a second thought. Artist Yukiko Morita has found a different way to recycle all those old loaves by turning them into unique bread and pastry lamps through her brand Pampshade, which sells its wares on Uncommon Goods.
In an email to Mental Floss, Morita says she developed an appreciation for the leavened delicacies while working in a bakery in Japan, where she was in charge of throwing away the unsold bread at the end of the day. She soon found herself looking for a way to put the old bread to use, rather than just leaving it in the trash. "One day, I ate only [the] inside of [the] bread, then, the sunset shone through the bread," Mortia says. Inspired by the light, Morita had her idea. "After a lot of failures, I discovered bread lamps."
To make each lamp, the bread is hollowed out, fitted with LED lights, and then cast in an epoxy resin to maintain its color and shape. Since no carb goes to waste, the insides become croutons, French toast, or rusk, a twice-baked bread biscuit-like biscotti. This helps give a second life to foods that would have otherwise been discarded.
In addition to loaves of bread, Pampshade makes baguette, croissant, and dinner roll lamps available at Uncommon Goods. The brand has even collaborated with Dauphinette, a New York outwear brand that makes pieces from recycled or byproduct fabrics and materials, to create a limited-edition Linzer croissant lamp. "Bread has no border," Morita says.
When thinking about the future of the brand, this global exposure is a prominent element. "I want to be an artist who expands the charms of bread to the world," Morita says. Now when you go to make bread in your kitchen or sit down to a meal with others, you'll be able to break bread while being illuminated by it as well.