Quisque convallis rhoncus ornare
Londubh Studio was founded in Los Angeles in 2011 by Lisa Donohoe and Brynn Gelbard, two women dedicated to living life on the edge in full color and shimmer and whose art and surface designs are an unapologetic love letter to maximalism and glam.
Specializing in the creation of custom art, surface designs and products for residential, commercial, hospitality and experiential spaces, Donohoe and Gelbard are a secret weapon of the design world, with some of the most notable names in the industry seeking them out for their pristine craftsmanship, unparalleled artistry, and boundless creativity.
In Gaelic, Londubh means "blackbird," which represents both the duo's love of nature and the way in which they express nature in their work. "When light hits a blackbird's feathers in the right way, there's suddenly a shimmer of deep colors, tones, and texture reflecting back at you, " Donohoe says.
No trick of light is needed, however, to see the meticulousness of Londubh’s work. Their hand-applied installations feature paints, glazes, decorative plasters, and metal leaf. The pair joke they will take on any surface that will stay still long enough for them to do their thing. Their portfolio includes everything from building facades to diving boards, large scale murals to bathtubs, and every traditional surface imaginable.
“Surfaces are ultimately canvasses for expression and through the convergence of art and design we have the opportunity to transform generic spaces and elevate the human experience.”
—Brynn Gelbard, Londubh Studio
MEET THE DUO
Lisa Donohoe who grew up in Dublin, was an artist before anything else, heavily influenced by the cultural history of Ireland, Celtic and Medieval architecture and the country’s deep connection to the past - Londubh means “blackbird” in Gaelic. After relocating to San Francisco, she worked at Willem Racke Studio, where she learned all of the traditional decorative arts techniques on high-end residential and commercial projects for designers like Ken Fulk, Jay Jeffers and Peter Marino. There she became fascinated by materials like 24- and 23-karat gold leaf, leather, fine plaster work, natural waxes and glazes and how to use them in novel ways.
Brynn Gelbard grew up on the periphery of New York City, which she credits for exposing her to the vast array of art, design, and cultures that inspire her. After graduating from Bowdoin college, she moved to San Francisco where her work in high end restaurants and on various commercial and independent productions honed her sense of design flow and utility. She also immersed herself in the LGBTQ+ rights movement, ultimately traveling around the U.S. documenting other same-sex, binational couples like herself and Lisa who were willing to share their struggle to remain together together in the U.S. with the Defense of Marriage Act in place. It was when the US Supreme Court struck this law down that Gelbard finally began to work with Donohoe and became half of Londubh Studio.
As partners in life and in work, Donohoe and Gelbard ever egg each other on to push the boundaries of their craft. Using their materials in unexpected and pioneering ways to breathe new life into techniques that have been used for hundreds and even thousands of years, they delight in marrying tradition with their unapologetic maximalist style.