Earl Pinto is a Melbourne based design studio crafting signature furniture and lighting combining new technologies with traditional hand craftsmanship. Along with a growing range of products, Earl Pinto custom design and make for both commercial and residential markets. Earl Pinto is a unique collaboration between two designers who create with a pallet of solid timbers, plywood, acrylic, polypropylene, brass and steel. 

I enjoyed a casual chat with the designers, Alex Earl and Gerard Pinto. Both Earl and Pinto design for the label as well as taking on special commissions and project work. You can check out the Earl Pinto designs in their workshop and showroom space in Sackville St. Collingwood.

What was the inspiration behind the Anise light concept?
Gerard Pinto: “The Anise light was the first collaboration between Alex and myself. The form was built up from a simple geometry study of shapes, experimenting with how we could create complicated three-dimensional forms out of flat shapes. The finished product ended up looking very natural and organic.” 

Is the pen mightier than the computer?
Alex Earl: “The short answer is no. However that doesn’t mean that we don’t sketch, we sketch a lot. More often than not however scale mock-ups and material studies have a lot more to do with the development of an Earl Pinto product than sketches do. Of course all of our pieces are computer cut, using CAD (Computer Aided Design) technology.” 

Gerard Pinto: “All ideation starts in the sketch book. Of course designs are refined through computer technologies… CAD drawings are no substitute for the understanding of form and proportion that sketching gives you. 

Alex and I often sit down together when working on a new concept and discuss various construction methods before we touch the computer.”

Who is someone that you would like to collaborate with in the future?
Alex Earl: “I’d like to collaborate with Henry Selick, a stop motion director who created scenes like the Jaguar Shark animation in The Life Aquatic. I really admire people with great imagination who create worlds that tell a story.” 

Does working in Melbourne influence/ enhance your work?
Gerard Pinto: “We sell our work all over Australia and around the world. The majority of our customers are local (Melbournians) and they do like a certain look, which is all about playful details and quality finishes. We work collaboratively with amazing crafts people in Melbourne like Thomas Burless who makes anything we need out of metal, enhancing our pieces.” 

For further information visit earlpinto.com.au

Article by Georgina Lewis