HOOP DOOP meets Marta Colpani, visual artist and bread goddess at Pane Lento.

I met Marta some years (and lives) ago when we were working in the same office.
The first thing I thought about her was..Just Brilliant! She is young, she has traveled a lot, she is studying, she is working – btw while working and studying she enrolled the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. At that time we got along quite well but as often happens in life, you lose contact – busy with your job your love and many other things.

Even though we hadn’t met in person during these last 3 years, we kept contact through social media.
A few weeks ago, I came across one of her facebook posts – something (more or less) like: ‘I’m done with my job as a project manager, I’m baking bread. And few days later I received an invite for breakfast at the Italian concept store Il Sogno, the very place were she bakes her bread. Of course I took some pictures and of course I asked her what about giving us an interview for HOOP DOOP magazine and here we are.

 

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First of all congratulations, and good luck with Pane lento. Second..Why does a project manager and a visual artist decide to go for bread?

I started to bake bread at home because I wasn’t satisfied with the quality that I could find in the shops.
But by doing so,  I developed such high standards of quality and taste that I was using all my free time just to bake bread! During that day I fantasized about new kinds of bread that I could try out and when I started to bake with sourdough, which requires far more work and care than normal yeast, it all started to become complicated”.  At the same time my daily job was becoming more and more frustrating. I realized that the office was not the right place for me and that it was no longer my own choice to be part of that environment. I thought that if I’d make a living by just doing what I enjoy, it would make me feel better. But it took me quite some time to make that choice, it was scary and uncertain.

Your bread looks amazing and is (trust me on this) super yummy to eat. Can you explain what is the idea/concept behind the name of Pane Lento?

Thank you! Very good bread requires a lot of time and care. Water and flour are not just two things that you put together to make bread.

Instead, bread kind of grows, more like a living thing, say like fruit that grows on a tree… therefore it needs time and consistent care. Pane lento literally means “slow bread”, which for me is the only kind of good and tasty bread. Pane Lento is not only about baking good bread, which is a very solitary activity and tends to remain isolated. Pane Lento is also about being aware of what good, tasty and healthy food is and about realizing that it is possible to have that. There is no magic formula.

Great,nutritious food is something close to us. But, like all good things, it costs requires and patience, labour and care. Pane Lento is my attempt to get that back, by choice. It is a great pleasure to hear how people like my bread and keep coming back to buy it again, but it makes me even more happy when customers ask me about how it is made, what is in it and why it tastes so good.

How much has your life changed since you left your job routine? and how much time do you spend on your visual art?

Good question. So much has changed that I haven’t had the time to think it over yet. For a start, I am waking up at 3:50 every morning. I thought that that would be hard, but that is something you just get used to relatively fast. I am also working much harder than I did two months ago and I am less secure, financially speaking, but that does not make me more frustrated or sad. Quite the contrary! My job at the office seems so far away in the past, and that feels great! I am more alive and more in control!

Of course it is quite hard to combine a new start as an entrepreneur and at the same time graduating from the art academy. I could have planned this whole new start as a baker later this year, but I realised that working at the office was not doing any good to me as a person. My work as an artist will also profit from this change, if not right now probably later. Financial security and predictability become an obstacle when they keep you from being the person you want to be. I feel more close to myself and to the environment now.

Where can our reader find info about Pane Lento? and about your art?

I am still working on my online presence as Pane Lento and as an artist.  I have set up a website (panelento.nl and martacolpani.com), but I guess the best way to find out more about my bread or my art is to come to visit the shop. I work at the Italian concept store Il Sogno, in Koningsstaat 19, near Nieuwmarkt. I am there every morning from Tuesday to Sunday and I am always glad to have guests :-).

 

Interview and photo: Monyart

About The Author

Blog Editor & Social Media Manager

Monyart - Monica Martino Passionate about life and photography is based in Amsterdam, trying to cope...♥