LSA, one of the world’s most popular glassware brands turns 50 this year and their new collection releases are a celebration of LSA’s achievements over the last five decades. Established in London in the swinging sixties, LSA was first envisioned when Janusz Lubowski and his wife Ewa approached Terrance Conran at Habitat with brightly colored enamelware from their native Poland. Along with Co-Founder Tony Saunders, Janusz was so inspired by the runaway success of the original enamelled pots, kettles, mugs and colanders that they began to explore other types of Polish production and moved onto porcelain clay, leather and wooden products.
Porcelain clay was transformed into plain white and patterned tableware which instantly became popular with those searching for practical and contemporary designs for the home. The leather was crafted into bags, satchels and holdalls with the tanned cowhide sourced from small, local workshops and the wooden items came from Polish cooperatives specialising in folk woodworking traditions. It was the brand’s foray into mouthblown glass however that offered the biggest potential for growth, as whilst archetypal jugs and tumblers reflected LSA’s core affinity with the practical and functional, the glass’ versatility allowed for constant experimentation with shape, color and decoration. This discovery extended the LSA range for the fashion-conscious consumer and brought the brand firmly into the public eye.
Janusz Lubkowski’s daughter Monika Lubkowska-Jonas joined LSA in 1985 and it was her creative influences which would go on to evolve the brand’s design aesthetic. Working closely with her father to gain a complex understanding of the skilled production and techniques needed to create each piece, Monika also developed her instincts for quality and style which have led to the success of each new collection the brand releases. Monika has shaped LSA’s national identity through blending the originality and innovation on which the company was first founded with her own artistic dexterity which extends beyond just products into photography, packaging and styling.
Pushing the boundaries with every new product release by creating products defined by their distinctive shape, texture and decoration, the 2016 spring/summer collection takes a step back to the foundations of LSA to celebrate this important milestone. Manifesting the original creative spark which launched the brand, the new collection combines the five materials that formed the base of LSA five decades ago – glass, porcelain, leather, wood and enamelled steel. Each one of these five materials undergoes a process making it unique from the other, adding depth and intrigue to every highball, plate and jar.
Molten glass is first gathered from the kiln then blown and shaped into functional yet beautiful glassware by skilled craftsmen using centuries-old techniques. The leather is made from tanning cowhide which naturally deepens with age and the natural wood is selected from only responsible FSC certified sources then slow-dried to enhance the texture and durability. Raw porcelain clay is formed in moulds to create a wide range of shapes and sizes before being fired, glazed then fired again to set the color and strength. Finally the enamelled steel which launched 50 years of success for LSA is made from heavy-gauge steel shaped then enamelled using a dipping, painting and firing process for a rich colored, high-quality finish.
The Utility and Circle collections are a culmination of these five materials with Utility boasting utilitarian forms of enamelled steel and glass topped with supple cowhide handles and Circle offering contemporary shapes in bright white porcelain and glass with pale ash handles. Celebrate and Host are the celebratory collections released for 2016 which encapsulates the joy the brand feel for reaching this milestone. The thick mouthblown bowls of the Host range are infused with a party atmosphere designed to hold canapés and nibbles galore whilst the Celebrate collection takes this idea one step further with delicately shaped, gold rimmed glassware finished with the exclusive 5•ZERO cocktail recipes on the gift boxes.
The 5•ZERO Cocktail
An elegant blend of champagne, vodka and elderflower with a zesty citrus twist, the 5•ZERO cocktail has been developed exclusively in celebration of LSA’s 50th anniversary and is designed to be served in the glamorous Celebrate stemware.
Ingredients (per serving)
25ml Polish vodka
25ml elderflower syrup
5ml fresh lemon juice
Top with champagne
Add a pinch of edible gold glitter
Garnish with flat orange peel
Combine the vodka, elderflower syrup, lemon juice and glitter in a cocktail shaker, top with ice and shake vigorously for 5 seconds.
Pour into an LSA Celebrate long-stem glass and top with champagne.
Garnish with a strip of flat orange peel.