Profile: The Mad Latvian

It is so satisfying when I find someone who shares my love of junk. The Mad Latvian, a.k.a. Martins Punculis, sees as much potential in waste materials as I do, but at least he has the skills to do something about it.

Originally trained in Archeological Preservation, Martins skills are self taught. Which means there is a refreshing lack of restraint when it comes to his work. Currently working on quirky commercial fit-outs, his interests lie in repurposing wood, metal and any material he can get his hands on, creating pieces that look both Bronze Age settlement and a Mad Max film set.

I visited Martins studio in the heart of the medieval centre of Limerick City, right behind King John’s castle, and at the back of a well established antique shop – quite fitting considering his background. Mad Latvian is in its infancy, Martins having dabbled in bronze preservation and coffee shop entrepreneurship in the past. But he is flat out in his studio when I visit, the fire burning in the upcycled wood burning stove and at least three projects on the go simultaneously, including a bevy of upcycled lamps, a favourite for Martins (one of his ceiling lights recently featured on RTE’s Home of the Year).

It’s hard to classify Martins; conceptual carpenter perhaps, upcycling artist or junk whisperer, but whatever he is this is not one-size-fits-all production line; bring Martins your junk and he will bring you his art. Check it out below.

Martins Punculis aka Mad Latvian in his studio surrounded by his tools
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A commissioned bench featuring waste metals and upcycled chair frames.

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A work in progress. This wall hung lamp, made from an upcycled headboard, will feature two lights on either side of the typewriter.

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A work in progress. These old parts are being upcycled into a chandelier.

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A vintage Soviet era crystal and marble wall lamp rescued from a house renovation in Latvia.

MadLatvian10MadLatvian11Martins aka Mad Latvian can be contacted on mpunculis@gmail.com or you can find our more on his Facebook page at facebook.com/mpunculis

All photos by Alexia McInerney.

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