An Undulating Pendant, Frozen in Time

Marset’s Pu-erh lighting fixture has a texture evocative of rippling silk, but that is made of clay.

On permanent view at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is an installation of objects named “Shylight.” Dreamed up by the Dutch creative practice Studio Drift, each awe-inspiring silk fixture is laced with custom software that allows it to bloom like a flower and plié like a ballerina. The lights’ remarkable unfurling came to mind when I first encountered Pu-erh, a ceramic pendant designed by Barcelona-based ceramist Xavier Mañosa for the lighting company Marset. Pu-erh, which shares its name with a type of fermented Chinese tea, doesn’t dance—but its diffuser suggests lustrous pleated fibers, frozen in time, similar to Shylight’s satiny form. Its shape was informed by a conical paper lampshade, owned by a friend of Mañosa’s, that, to him, had the perfect proportions. Mañosa tried to re-create the shade in a sketch, which he then translated into a mold. The tutu-esque result captures the irregular variations of the original, casting a wide expanse of light down below.

(Photo: Courtesy Marset) 

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