Hello and welcome to Lupa!
Lupa is a homeware brand designed by me, Maria Helena.
Being a graphic designer and illustrator, Lupa is the cross between my visual universe and product design, creating high quality crafted pieces.
Designed and produced in Porto, Lupa offers a selection of products, carefully handmade with attention to every detail.
Here at Lupa*, proximity is the key, it’s about being close to every part of process, designing, working with local producers, always aiming to create beautifully made pieces.
I believe that our daily mundane tasks and domestic landscapes play important roles in our lives. We repeat, move, and use so many objects everyday, in endless rituals. They live in the background to help us, physically or emotionally, playing a significant part in our days.
My goal is to always offer, not only useful, amazingly crafted, made to last products but also a little bit of happiness. If i make someone smile as soon as they arrive home, well, then i think my job is done.
*Lupa means “magnifying glass” in Portuguese.
Quote is by Annie Dilard.
I’m based in Oporto, where I live with my husband João and my 2 year old daughter Alice.
I've worked in various projects and companies, big or small, basically designing, illustrating and art directing. From multinational corporations to small design studios, my work crossed many different fields over the years, which help building my multidisciplinary experience.
At the same time, I also worked as a visual artist, exhibiting in selected Art galleries.
In some commissioned projects, I’ve been lucky to work with textiles and ceramics. A whole new world opened up, being able to create and produce with such different mediums and techniques. I was in love!
I quickly wished for a way to bring it all together somehow: high-quality designed everyday objects. Not only for the simple pleasure of creating them but also as concept itself, about a mindful way of working and consuming.
Lupa was founded in 2014, after months of researching, working alongside highly specialised people, perfecting raw materials, handmade techniques, details and finishes.
Selected work portfolio over here.
The studio & people
At Lupa’s studio you will find me and sometimes my husband João, we can say it’s a family business. We work closely with our suppliers and makers at their knitting or printing ateliers, a few minutes away from our studio, in Oporto’s downtown.
We work daily with Ofício, the endless support of Alice Bernardo and Miguel Barbot.
Ultimately, sourcing local materials and know-how, we know we can make a difference in our local community.
Design & Production
We are using traditional manufacturing with new ways of designing, bringing the past, pushing the boundaries, hoping to take it to the future. Working along with expertise artisans is always a deep learning experience. We are so proud to be working with them.
It's designed dot by dot, literally. On paper or screen, the designs are transformed from a graphite line to a sort of pixel mesh, where everything has to be mathematically correct. One dot missed the drawing becomes completely different. It’s a fun challenge.
When the designs are ready, it’s time to visit the knitting studio.
Lupa is about perfected techniques and materials, it’s magic to see our pieces being made, it’s just wonderful! There’s an inherent beauty to all the process, it’s gestures, it’s delicacy and even it’s limits.
The pieces are made using our own Merino wool, and produced with old knitting machines. The details include skilled handmade embroidery, sewing, and finishes. Always looking closely to every single dot or thread, literally using a magnifying glass lamp for the embroidery!
Our seated cushions are screen printed in an Art Studio nearby, produced in limited editions. We use water-based inks, our fabrics are always 100% cotton, locally sourced. They are sewn, one by one.