Samples of concrete countertops created by Luke Works, a custom… (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore…)
Founder and lead designer: Mark Melonas, whose nickname was Luke, has a design and sculpture degree from the University of Maryland and a master's in furniture artisanry from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. But he began working in the basement of his family's Howard County home, making furniture with his father. He cast his first custom-designed sink in the kitchen of his Bolton Hill apartment 10 years ago. Today, the company he founded specializes in custom concrete and wood products.
Teamwork: Luke Works includes a team of artisans, all of whom love to solve design and installation problems. The group includes: Jacob Ulrich, concrete specialist, University of Maryland, art; Seth Scott, lead furniture maker, Northern Michigan University, woodworking; Michael Coffman, furniture craftsman and finisher, Virginia Tech, architecture; Will Weaver, concrete craftsman, Goucher College, philosophy and sculpture.
Green and clean: Designs have a Scandinavian feel to them, with sleek curves and clean lines and a minimalist look. Luke Works uses sustainably harvested forest products as well as reclaimed or recycled products, and purchases almost all of its raw materials in Baltimore or in Maryland. One countertop contained bits and pieces from a client's beach glass collection.
Where to buy: Visiting their showroom is a bit of a challenge. It is located at 2321 Homewood Ave., which is actually behind 2315 Homewood Ave. Follow the alley and go around the corner. Or start at the website: lukeworks.com.