ISSUE 82  |  Australia by Design

Limestone Lamps by Way of Melbourne

July 23, 2013 3:00 PM

BY Izabella Simmons

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Hugh Altschwager, the mastermind behind Inkster Maken, a Melbourne-based design studio dedicated to handcrafted lighting, had to go home to find his true calling. After college, Altschwager moved to Melbourne to work in design and architecture; the lamp idea took shape during trips back home to his parents’ family farm off the South Australian limestone coast, where he built a small, self-sufficient hut made from salvaged materials. During the construction process, he soon realized he was in need of a light source. Already familiar with the local materials—limestone and wood—he put the two together and created a light fixture that inspired him to launch his first handcrafted lighting collection.

The collection features pendants and free-standing lamps made from turned South Australian limestone and reclaimed hardwoods. The small collection is available online, but stay tuned: Altschwager has big plans for the future and a new range of products is in the works (not necessarily lighting).

Photographs by Lucy Feagins and Brooke Holm via The Design Files (except where noted).

Above L: The Small Pendant is $375 AUD. Above R: The Large Pendant is $585 AUD.

Above: The Desk Lamp, featuring a red cord and clamp.

Above: The Standard Lamp is $875 AUD.

Above: Altschwager in his home studio in Melbourne.

Above: The work studio where each lamp fixture begins as a single block of limestone, which is turned and finished by hand. 

Above: Altschwager’s sustainable lake hut made from recycled materials. Photo via Inkster Maken

Traveling Down Under in the near future? Check out our Australia City Guide for visit-worthy places.