Ever since I saw it at a show in January I’ve been dying to share the new LSA 50 Years collection with you. The joyous shade of orange they’ve used both for some of the products as well as the collection’s branding stopped me dead when I saw it, and I just couldn’t stop smiling. For me, it’s the colour of pure happiness, but on top of that the whole collection is equally uplifting with its simple lines, quality materials and wonderful craftsmanship.
If you’re familiar with the LSA International brand you’ll probably straight away think of their high quality, hand-blown glass vases and glassware for the table. So the LSA 50 Years range might seem a radical departure – what’s with the coloured enamel? And all that wood and leather? All will be revealed…
LSA 50 Years Collection
So, why this particular mix of materials for the LSA 50 Years collection? The answer lies in the company’s origins back in the 1960’s, when Janusz Lubkowski and his wife Ewa approached Terence Conran at Habitat with some traditional, brightly coloured enamelware from their native Poland.
These enamelled coffee pots, mugs, kettles and colanders were hugely popular, and along with LSA co-founder Tony Saunders, Janusz and Ewa began to look at other typical Polish products as the inspiration for other collections.
Practical white and patterned tableware was produced from porcelain clay, tanned cowhide was fashioned into leather bags, satchels and holdalls, and wooden accessories were crafted by Polish cooperatives specialising in the folk traditions of woodwork.
But it was mouth-blown glass for which LSA International became the most famous. As they explain:
In 1985 Monika Lubkowska-Jonas joined the company and worked closely with her father. Learning the intricacies of skilled craft production and gaining insights into the potential of the raw materials led her to experiment with different techniques, push the boundaries of hand production (particularly in mouthblown glass) and develop her own unique style.
“[it] offered the greatest potential for transformation. Whilst an archetypal tumbler and jug reflected Janusz’s affinity for the practical, the versatility of the material spurred experimentation with shape, colour and decoration thereby extending the range for the fashion-conscious consumer.”
Fast forward to 2016 and Monika is still a driving force behind the company – and the vibrant LSA 50 Years collection.
“Today Monika shapes and refines LSA International’s identity, continuing her father’s passion for contemporary design and traditional craft, guided by the creativity and innovation around which the company was originally built.
As a result, the products celebrate Monika’s aesthetic, her continued inspiration from artisan processes and the original 5 materials – glass, porcelain, leather, wood and enamelled steel.”
So, very simply, that’s the story – five decades and five materials. And what a wonderful collection they’ve put together.
You can see and shop the whole LSA 50 Years collection on their website – I hope you find it as beautiful and uplifting as I did. Let me know which pieces are your favourites – no prizes for guessing mine. Wishing you a lovely weekend.
Images: LSA International