Portuguese architect Martinho Pita has designed a series of lamps reusing a number of tree branches obtained from pruning. The series, called Bichos (which in Portuguese means "creature"), is hand made out of discarded Portuguese holly tree branches. Each unique item appears animated, as if a fantastical creature frozen in movement.
The series was born out of a sabbatical period in which Pita spent a few months away from the city. "The first lamp I did was in 2008 and it is still in my leaving room today," Pita says. "I love the process of things so its "mistakes" are still intact."
"I learned the art of transforming wood into lamps with my father who is an artist. For me it became essential to learn how to prune a tree, the right time of the year, the right branch, the angle and distance of the cut in order for the tree to heal itself," Pita states, describing the process of making each of the Bichos lamps. "Once on the ground I calibrate the branch in the right position and peel it while is fresh and soft. It's then a matter of shaping, sanding and detailing it before it dries completely since holly wood is extremely hard. It is important to understand its dynamics."
In each lamp, a red or brown textile-covered electrical cord runs through the branch, recalling, in Pita's words, "blood as a life-giving source." The medium-sized Bichos series lamps are free-standing and seek to be part of a waste-minimizing life cycle: from discarded branch, to lamp, to firewood, in the end.