nanako kume’s designs recall scrapes from colored pencils
Japanese designer Nanako Kume presents her delightful pendant light series made of large wood shavings. Inspired by the scraps left behind from sharpening coloring pencils, she created each shaving with the help of a machine built like a giant pencil sharpener. On the concept behind her project, Kume writes: ‘Since childhood, I was fascinated by the shape and fleetingness of shavings that are made when sharpening pencils. I thought that by increasing the size and thickness of what must be discarded as waste, it would be possible to create new products while maintaining the beauty of the shape.’
all images courtesy of Nanako Kume
the process of sharpening and shaving
To design her pendant lights, Nanako Kume (see more here) began by softening the wood block in a steamer before shaving it out, making it bendable and easy to scrape out in thin but sturdy layers. ‘Therefore, freshly shaved wood is flexible and is formed as it dries,’ she explains. But more important than softening the wood is adjusting the angle and position of the sharpening blade to get a good scraping.
The details of each lampshade vary depending on the species, color, and shape of wood — as well as the touch of dye that Kume adds to each design, evoking colored pencils. The time of shaving also contributes to the unique bending and profile seen across the pendant lights.
variations of the lampshade hanging from the ceiling
giant pencil sharpener specially built for this project