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My name is Luisa Manea

Pottery, Art, Commissions, Fashion Design, Live Painting, and Art Classes.

One creative idea always ends up bouncing into another.

Award-winning creative in all areas of art and design.

My latest significant achievement has been in the Per Tuckers Ceramic Competition 2022 as a finalist and a published artist.

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Fashion designer and Milliner mainly wedding gowns.

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Ceramic artist, selling sculptures as soon as I make them.

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Professional artist, winning many awards locally and nationally.

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Live painting and classes

Have some fun at an art party or have me paint live at a major event

Crystal Salt

Fashion and Art are inexorably linked to me.

It all started as a six-year-old; I taught myself to draw using sandwich paper to illustrate the models in the Vogue dress-making pattern books my mum used to buy. Followed by sewing on my grandmother's press pedal sewing machine. Which now takes pride in place in my home as a piece of furniture in my hallway.

 At 16, I left home to study design and work at Ahern's department store. 

 Ahern's supported my clothing designs in many ways, from sponsoring competition entries on tours all over Australia to displaying my graduating designs in the fabric department.

I won many awards as a fashion design student and was awarded Dux of my year. 

I was happy to help a struggling student with sewing or teach a class if a teacher was late. I won a lot of competitions and prizes and money.

Some of these were:

Trips to Melbourne, Hong Kong Fashion week, sold children's wear designs, won 2 corporate uniform designs awards, three evening wear awards and much more.

 After design school, I became a high-end couture bridal designer with a successful label.

 'Allure Couture'.

I was again winning many awards, mainly in contemporary bridal design.

At one bridal show 20 years ago, when I first started. A groom to be in the crowd told his partner that my wedding gowns looked like nighties.

Now just about every second wedding gown is cut with a  bias-cut satin, mimicking a nightly. 

Drawing sketches of bridal gowns for brides would then become requests for art commissions.

We moved to Queensland for my husband's work.

Bridal or sewing didn't take off, but my art did.

I went from making $6000 wedding gowns to people wanting to avoid paying $15 for a hem alteration. I needed to adapt to an art career to survive.

Lucky for my art and me, there's a great art culture here in Cairns. I often volunteer at art galleries and enter competitions. RADF grants provided by the local Cairns Council and the Queensland government have helped establish my art.

Fashion on the Field Illustrations

F.O.T.F. began at the Cairns Cup Carnival 2019 and has grown into the Cairns Amateurs 3-day event, Laura Races Rodeo, Charters Tower's Amateurs, The Benson Hotel and Brisbane Spring Carnival.

I love to hand-deliver fashion illustrations to my clients and see the delight on their faces when they see the drawingMy followers organically named these illustrations 'Paper Fashionistas.

So I followed suit and named an Instagram @PaperFashionistas.

Fashion and Millinery

In 2019 I entered the Millinery Awards at Flemington, Oaks day. I had never made a piece of millinery before, so I was warned by a few fashions on the field ladies; it was very competitive, and I wouldn't get in, but I did!

I entered my Millinery on Oaks day at Flemington and received two tickets for my model and me to attend.

From a little kid in a tiny country town pumping petrol in my roller skates to the stage at the Melbourne cup was a big highlight. 

Then the following years, I scored top 10 in the Emerging Designer Awards 2020/2021.


I attended a pottery class in 2021, and the rest is history.

A good understanding of 2D construction into 3D in the design and manufacture of gowns has made this transition very easy.

I love how my hands squish around a block of clay to create an organic sculpture.

I don't use reference photos; I stop when the clay tells me to stop.

My potter's friends and I have fun making up names and narratives for these sculptures.

So far, I've had tribal witch doctors, gypsies, and royalty, all with exotic pasts

Evolutions of all my talents

The sculptural practice has started to evolve, and more of the creative skills I have developed over the years are employed in one piece now.

I'm excited about this exploration path, as not many artists have travelled down this road before.

My latest projects are ballerinas' bodies/torsos made in ceramic, and then I dress them in op shop clothing that I cut up and re-create into dancing costumes.

They sometimes have separate ceramic limbs that are positioned into ballerina poses.

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