Meet Artisan – Luke Mansini

Inspired by the natural landscape surrounding his home studio in Cedar Creek – located just outside of Brisbane, between a valley and a mountain – artisan Luke Mansini’s earthen Relik designs are, quite simply, rock solid stunning. Get to know Luke Mansini… I knew I wanted to be designer when… I wanted to be some […]

Inspired by the natural landscape surrounding his home studio in Cedar Creek – located just outside of Brisbane, between a valley and a mountain – artisan Luke Mansini’s earthen Relik designs are, quite simply, rock solid stunning.

Get to know Luke Mansini…

I knew I wanted to be designer when…

I wanted to be some sort of artist from a very young age. I was brought up in a household full of music and art and was always encouraged to express myself freely in whatever way I chose. The Steiner School in Samford, which bases all of its teaching around a philosophy of creativity and play, provided my primary education plus the art teacher in high school also took me under her wing. Being a designer was always going to happen.

I love the work I do because…

It suits my temperament. I like my own space – I’m a bit solitary and I’m a dreamer. When I’m creating in some way, whatever way, I’m happy.

I am most inspired creatively by…

Nature in all its textures, colours, shapes and forms.

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My favourite materials to work with are…

At the moment I’m using raw materials such as concrete and natural pigments. I make silicon moulds around natural textures such as coral and stone and then hand cast each one. My designs are based on natural organic shapes – intentionally imperfect at times, but functional works of art. I’ve also started adding living elements to some of my vessels. I grow plants, succulents in particular, and the juxtaposition between the plants and the pots seems to enhance both. The combination is something people really seem to love.

Trends I rate (or hate!)…

I do like the ‘industrial’ trend that’s prevalent at the moment. The inclusion of old metals, rust and recycled hardware has always featured in my work, even going back to my first forays into art. Anything with a pleasing form, integrity and a bit of history would always find its way into my hands and eventually into my creations.

Work or play I cannot live without…

My partner James, my family and friends – they keep me sane. I think they believe in me more than I do sometimes. Instagram for inspiration and Facebook for networking. Japanese inspired ceramics – artful, elegant and restrained. Last but not least, my garden (my refuge) and my six grinders.

Three words that sum up my design æsthetic…

Organic. Sculptural. Tactile.

When I’m in full project mode, my typical day goes a little something like…

Up at 5am and into the Relik studio until 7am when it’s time to go to ‘work’ at my day job. After a full day there I return home at about 4pm and back into the studio for another couple of hours. Then… Chill. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

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And when I’m done, my ideal weekend would be…

We like to head up to James’ parents cattle property at Blackbutt for a bit of a break. It’s about two and a half hours away from where we live. We ride horses, muster cattle and drink beer around the fi re… the perfect way to unwind. Another ideal weekend is simply chillin’ at home, watching movies, tending the vegie garden and chicken pen. Perfectly simple.

My home and me…

I share my home with my partner James, our bull mastiff Isabel, seven chickens and seven baby chicks. We live in Cedar Creek in a small cottage on five acres, semi-rural, by a creek, close to rainforest and our own swimming hole. My studio is situated right next to the cottage. It was originally a carport but I’ve fully decked it out with everything I need to create my sculptures. It’s got such a great vibe. It’s convenient, chaotic, photogenic and permanently covered in a thick layer of dust, just how I like it.

My local life and style…

Cedar Creek is a physically beautiful place to live. We’re right on the creek and it’s a magical place for inspirational wanderings and the collecting of driftwood, river rocks and other things. We can be fringe-dwellers here yet still tap in to the local Samford community or the city if we want to. We have lots of space for my studio, our vegie garden, orchard and our animals. We love it.15

Our favourite local picks are…

Urban Dweller for awesome homewares (they stock my stuff!!). Ferny Grove markets for plants. Canter & Colt for great organic coffee and cake. Iron Bark Café for brilliant organic food.

Designers I admire…

Dinosaur Designs for being front runners, being original and consistently true to their aesthetic. Tortuse Copenhagen for absolutely incredible hand-made ceramics (he won Craftsman of the Year 2015 in the Denmark Design Awards). His forms are sublime and he seems really down to earth, both of which I aspire to. And the restrained elegance of Japanese inspired ceramics and fl oral designs.

Currently on my wish list…

Some sense of order would be good. A bigger workshop will eventually be inevitable.

The motto I like to live by…

“Without mud there is no lotus.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

See more of Luke’s work at relikdesigns.com.au

Photography by Aimee Catt