Tides is a new tile series, inspired by the San Francisco surf, and designed by passionate surfer Luca Osburn. The series was inspired by his favorite surfing spots in Northern California. Some of the color names are familiar to surfers: Cronkhite, Kelly’s Cove and Outer Sunset. Luca is 20 and, in between surfing, he is learning the craft of artisan tile making as the first Artist in Residence at cle´, which is an international artisan tile e-boutique.
The idea of including functional surf art in your home interior is something we love. We caught up with Luca to discuss his creations and what makes him tick.
Hi Luca, We are loving your tile collection. Have you always been drawn to the art scene? What inspired you to explore your creativity and get started?
My mom was a ceramics major and is a maker and very creative, so you could say ceramics and art are in my DNA. She gave me the opportunity to begin painting for cle´ doing the Watermark Collection when I was in my first years of high school, and after years of doing that I had the urge to experiment and try my own designs and techniques.
It seems painting scenes from surfing is a natural crossover, seeing as surfing is integral to your lifestyle. How has surfing shaped your life so far?
Surfing has given me heaps of inspiration and an outlet and continues to give me physical and mental health benefits every day. It has taught me a lot about being patient and being able to share and about how much your personal style can set you aside from the rest of the group. It’s similar to painting in the sense that you want to draw different lines with a good sense of variety. Surfing and the surf culture of California has definitely helped me develop my own style and my artistic eye.
You definitely capture the essence of each surf spot featured in your tile collection. What is the creative process like for you?
I definitely have to go surf before I paint. After I surf I’ll walk around the shops by the beach and look at the photos and paintings on the wall and the different colors and sizes of the buildings. I like 3 Fish Studios and Mollusk Surf Shop on Irving Street by Ocean Beach where I can always find an endless amount of artistic inspiration. Looking at handmade surfboards and posters and other forms of art always gets me super stoked to make things, so I can go straight home and start painting and experimenting. What I enjoy about painting the tiles from my collection is that every tile is different in both color saturation and how many strokes there are, offering a ton of variation.
Functional art is certainly a growing market and artisan tiles are really exciting, especially for people who want to bring art into spaces that would usually be undecorated. What are the highlights of learning this craft and of your residence at cle´?
Learning this craft with the support of cle´ has been unreal. They provide me with a space for production and to experiment with my own ideas and they are always supporting me and giving me the room to grow artistically and develop my own ideas and techniques.
Who inspires you from both the surf and art scenes?
From the surf scene I am inspired by Dane Reynolds and Wade Goodall and the Gudauskas brothers. They’re entertaining to watch and the art they make on and off their boards is inspiring to me. As a photographer I am also very inspired by Tanner Gudauskas’ film photography. From the art scene, I find inspiration in the mixed media work of Thomas Campbell and Matthew Allen, who have a very vintage and colorful approach to surf art and photography.
How can people get in touch and find out more?
You can find out more about me and my collection as well as many others at cletile.com.