The origins of LSA International are found in fashionable swinging sixties London, when Janusz Lubkowski and his wife Ewa were inspired to approach Terence Conran at Habitat with traditional brightly coloured enamelware from their native Poland.
Having established the company with co-founder Tony Saunders, the success of these enamelled coffee pots, mugs, kettles and colanders led Janusz to explore other avenues of Polish production.
Porcelain clay was made into plain white and patterned tableware, popular amongst consumers who sought practical and contemporary designs. Leather bags, satchels and holdalls made from tanned cowhide were sourced from small production workshops. Wooden accessories from Polish cooperatives specialising in the folk traditions of woodwork completed the early collections.
But it was mouthblown glass that 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.
On joining the company in 1985, Monika Lubkowska-Jonas worked closely with her father, gaining a deep understanding of skilled craft production and developing her unique instincts for quality and style.
This insight into artisan dexterity and the potential of the raw materials encouraged Monika’s creativity, leading her to experiment with different techniques and push the boundaries of hand production - particularly in mouthblown glass, which quickly became her principal focus. She began designing unique collections which demonstrated the complexity of glassmaking, blowing refined or complicated shapes and using lustred paint or richly coloured glass, as well as simple yet functional pieces which reflected her love of entertaining and demonstrated an intuitive understanding of the way people live.
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.