The house

Fifty years of expertise and love of the product. Pieter is passionate about passing this on to his daughter Widukind, who has been responsible for the daily running of the studio since 2007, and his son-in-law Frank Claesen, who creaties new designs. Together with their team of six they continue the special tradition of handcrafted hard porcelain.

Philosophy

Company story

The porcelain art that emerges from Studio Pieter Stockmans results from a combination of traditional craft production and a contemporary approach. The studio has been well known for its experimental approach to limited series of porcelain since 1987. There is no place here for traditional design. As a designer, Pieter is constantly stretching the limits of porcelain. He makes exceptional design objects that acquire a domestic and international reputation. Studio Pieter Stockmans is Belgium’s only specialist in design for hard porcelain.

Unique collections, limited series

Our limited, unique collections take shape at the C-Mine site in Genk (Belgium). It was here that Pieter Stockmans designed and made, among other things, the trophy for the Memorial Vandamme and the plates for the royal wedding in Monaco. The studio is highly regarded by many top international restaurants. The studio has designed custom collections and bespoke items for ***Michelin chefs in Belgium, France, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, USA and Switzerland. Such luxury brands as Dom Pérignon are also eager to collaborate with the studio.

Highly-praised porcelain art
Pieter’s work is on show in well-known museums including the Victoria & Albert in London, the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In 1988 he was awarded the State Prize for the Visual Arts. In 1995 he was a Cultural Ambassador of Flanders. In 1996 he received the prestigious Red Dot Award and two years later accepted the Henry Van de Velde Prize for his entire oeuvre.

A family with a passion
Fifty years of expertise and love of the product. Pieter is passionate about passing this on to his daughter Widukind, who has been responsible for the daily running of the studio since 2007, and his son-in-law Frank Claesen, who creates new designs. Together with their team of six they continue the special tradition of handcrafted hard porcelain.

Time and patience as art
To create a handmade Studio Pieter Stockmans product requires a lot of time and patience. Porcelain cannot be moulded; on the contrary, it moulds those who make it. Every operation demands meticulous attention. Each step in the process contributes to the exceptional final result.

A durable product for many generations
Hard porcelain is fired at 1400°C. This high temperature and the specific level of pressure in the kiln results in a product that is snowy white and sintered to full density. It is no longer porous and you can use and clean it unglazed. The lack of glaze means you make no finger-marks on it when you serve. An undeniable advantage. An individual technical approach is taken to each product, because the high temperature makes the porcelain shrink by 17%.

Stockmans porcelain is among the highest quality in the world. It is resistant to just about every cleaning product and abrasive and can withstand microwave ovens and dishwashers. Its high quartz content makes it highly wear-resistant. It is handcrafted porcelain that is brought to the table as a gift and is passed on for generations.

Limited and unique collections of quiet simplicity
Studio Pieter Stockmans swears by limited series. Mass production is out of the question. As a result of this choice – and the high quality of the porcelain – leading chefs like to come to the studio for custom items. They select designs that inspire them to create a new dish, or else they have a design custom-made for their own creations. The designs of Pieter Stockmans porcelain are sober and discrete. 

Product story

Patience is our tool
The porcelain shapes us, not vice versa
The plate becomes the stage
With the food as its star

Manufactory

Time and patience as art

To create a Pieter Stockmans product requires a lot of time and patience. Porcelain cannot be moulded; on the contrary, it moulds those who make it. Every operation, 36 in total, demands meticulous attention. Each step in the process contributes to the exceptional final result.

A durable product for many generations

Hard porcelain is fired at 1400°C. This high temperature and the specific level of pressure in the kiln results in a product that is snowy white and sintered to full density. It is no longer porous and you can use and clean it unglazed. The lack of glaze means you make no finger-marks on it when you serve. An undeniable advantage. An individual technical approach is taken to each product, because the high temperature makes the porcelain shrink by 17%.

Stockmans porcelain is among the highest quality in the world. It is resistant to just about every cleaning product and abrasive and can withstand microwave ovens and dishwashers. Its high quartz content makes it highly wear-resistant. It is handcrafted porcelain that is brought to the table as a gift and is passed on for generations.

Limited and unique collections of quiet simplicity

Studio Pieter Stockmans swears by limited series. Mass production is out of the question. As a result of this choice – and the high quality of the porcelain – leading chefs like to come to the studio for custom items. They select designs that inspire them to create a new dish, or else they have a design custom-made for their own creations. The designs of Pieter Stockmans porcelain are sober and discrete.

The studio

When our products arrive in the workshop to be expertly handcrafted by our designers, they already have quite a history behind them. Their story starts months earlier in our plaster workshop. First, our designers try to come up with a design that fits in with the Pieter Stockmans philosophy. Shaping the plaster with saws, knives, sandpaper and a host of other tools, the designer discovers new ideas. A good design is paramount for a high-quality product. And an original does not lose its value. Handcrafting a porcelain item requires know-how that has been passed on through the generations. This is how we write our part of the story. By setting your table and decorating your interior with porcelain by Studio Pieter Stockmans, you continue the story in your own words. A Pieter Stockmans will be passed on to the next generation.

Foto Pieter Stockmans

My creativity ensues from my work. The heart of it is the process from which the object emerges. Creating gives rise to ideas. Creating means choosing. Leaving one idea aside and giving another a chance. It is this interaction that gives every new creation a special feeling.

Pieter Stockmans

designer
Foto Widukind Stockmans

Pieter Stockmans’ products are not simply utility objects. They create an experience. Which is why the element of uniqueness remains so essential. Set your table with beautiful handmade porcelain and take your time to eat.

Widukind Stockmans

business manager
Foto Frank Claesen

I fought with the material in the beginning. I wanted the porcelain to behave the way I wanted to. But it was just the material itself that challenged me to discover new paths.

Frank Claesen

designer

Why hard-paste porcelain?

This type of porcelain is fired at the highest temperature of any dishware in the ceramic industry ±1400°C.
It also boasts the hardest glaze layer, as the higher the firing temperature, the higher the quarts levels. 
Thanks to this unusual firing process, we produce bright white porcelain.
It is translucent with a clear sound.
Contrary to other ceramic materials, hard-paste porcelain also holds heat for a long time, keeping your food warm for longer.
Odourless, tasteless and colourfast.
Acid-resistant, withstands any kind of mechanical treatment and does not age.
The material has been sintered shut, making it 100% watertight with a high level of hardness.
The glaze merely makes the item easier to clean.
Dishwasher-safe.
Because of its durability and impact-resistance, porcelain is a big hit in hotels and restaurants.
This kind of high-quality porcelain is also called hard-paste porcelain.

Other types of material:

Soft-paste porcelain, bone china and vitreous china

Fired at ± 1250°C.
Has a light and creamy colour.
Requires higher biscuit firing and lower glaze firing.
Its glaze is softer than that of hard-paste porcelain, because of its lower quarts levels.
Small ‘scars’ at the bottom of the item, because they are fired on triangles.

Stoneware

Firing temperature ± 1150°C.
Lightly coloured shard, may be multi-coloured.
Usually salt-glazed.
Higher biscuit firing and lower glaze firing.
The glaze is slightly softer, due to its lower quarts levels than hard-paste porcelain.
Small ‘scars’ at the bottom of the item, because they are fired on triangles.

Earthenware

Firing temperature ± 1000°C to 1050°C.
Coloured shard.
Porous shard.
Role of the glaze is to cover the shard and improve porosity.
Soft glaze.

    Timeline

    1940

    Born in Leopoldsburg (B) October 26th 1940

    1974

    Moving to the studio in Genk-Waterschei (B)

    1981

    First solo exhibition at the Provincial Museum (Z33) in Hasselt (B)

    1982

    Professor Ceramic Design at the Design Academy in Eindhoven (NL) untill 1985

    1984

    Selected for the XVII Biennal de Sao Paulo (BR) - First exhibition in Amsterdam in gallery De Witte Voet (NL)

    1986

    Exhibition at the Design Museum in Gent (B)

    1987

    Establishment of Studio Pieter Stockmans - ION Award Good Industrial Design (NL)

    1988

    State price for Visual Arts of the Flemish Community - Design Auswahl 88 Stuttgart (D)

    1989

    Co-founder of Pieter Stockmans Products

    1990

    Modus Vivendi

    1991

    Exhibition at the City Museum of Amsterdam (NL) - Assignment work of art for the Metrostation Georges Henri in Brussels (B)

    1992

    Development of eggshell porcelain

    1993

    Closure of Pieter Stockmans Products

    1994

    Designing jewels for Niessing (D)

    1995

    Widukind Stockmans designs for the Studio

    1996

    Publication of the Monography Piet Stockmans Lannoo (B) - RED DOT Höchste Designqualität Nordrhein Westfalen (D)

    1997

    First exhibition in the New York Garth Clark Gallery (USA) - Widukind Stockmans starts at the Studio

    1998

    Henri Vandevelde award hand out by Design Flanders

    1999

    Frank Claesen starts designing for the Studio

    2000

    Opening of the new gallery Stockmansblauw in Genk-Waterschei (B)

    2001

    Tribune for the scouts of the Genk-Centrum

    2002

    Monography Piet Stockmans Stichting Kunstboek (B) - Metropolitan Museum New York (USA) acquires work of art

    2003

    Exhibition Venetian Archway in Ostend (B)

    2004

    Cooperation with Pastoe Utrecht (NL)

    2005

    Cooperation with the Alain Ducasse restaurant "Le "Le Louis XV" Monaco (FR)

    2006

    First price at the European Ceramic Contest Bornholm (DK) - Victoria&Albert Museum London (UK) acquires a wall installation

    2007

    2008

    2009

    Widuking Stockmans takes over the Studio - Publication of the book Pieter Stockmans Design Musée Royal de Mariemont (B)

    2010

    Selection Frank Claesen for the European Ceramic Contest (DK

    2010

    Moving to C-Mine (B)

    2010

    Publication of the book Piet(er) Stockmans

    2011

    Cooperation with Sergio Herman of restaurant Oud Sluis (Nl)

    2012

    25 years Studio Pieter Stockmans - Select Collection

    2013

    Memorial Van Damme trophy

    2014

    Nautilus

    2014

    O'reille

    2015

    Block

    2016

    Noor vase

    2017

    30 years Studio Pieter Stockmans

    2018

    Mirror

    2019

    Nightsky

    2020

    Piet Stockmans 80

    2020

    Frank Claesen becomes head designer of Studio Pieter Stockmans

    Stories

    Top restaurant in Monaco serves desserts on Belgian porcelain creations.

    For the first time in his career Piet Stockmans designs a table ware, devoted to the arts of cooking of Alain Ducasse who runs his restaurant “Le Louis XV” in Monaco.

    Alain Ducasse learned to know the work of Piet Stockmans four years ago during a trip to Belgium. He visited the studio of Stockmans and was touched by the pure and passionate way in which Stockmans and his small team work. Especially his modern approach of porcelain and the play of white and blue and of gleam and mat charmed Alain Ducasse.

    He asked Stockmans to develop dessert table ware in his familiar, recognizable style. In round and rectangular forms. High or low. In white porcelain with a blue rim or blue porcelain with a white rim. Each piece a bit different. Stockmans’ creations totally merge into the environment of the Louis XV. And the desserts of pastrycook Olivier Berger have all their own plate on which they look marvelous. The magic of sweetness on contemporary porcelain.

    “A lot changes in the field of cooking but at the field of porcelain there is almost no evolution.”, says Alain Ducasse. “There for I made an appeal to Piet Stockmans. His creations show a renewed vision on porcelain which is really unique.”

    “Je considère la porcelaine de Stockmans comme une toile pour mes plats. Une toile vierge qui souligne la pureté des ingrédients et leur présentation sur l’assiette. Je ressens un immense plaisir à travailler avec les créations de Stockmans, qui sont tour à tour contemporaines et magnifiques. Pas de fioritures inutiles, mais de subtils détails et une attention particulière pour l’essentiel. Et c’est justement grâce à ça que les formes de leur porcelaine parviennent à m’inspirer. Le bon choix de l’assiette met le plat en valeur et lui donne encore plus de présence.

    Je suis très porté vers les créateurs belges et c’est aussi pourquoi tout chez nous est purement belge.

    Je travaille déjà plus de cinq ans maintenant avec la porcelaine de Stockmans, incluant du sur mesure, afin de créer l’assiette parfaite pour un nouveau plat. Piet, Widukind et moi-même sont sur la même longueur d’ondes et ils me suivent dans l’histoire que je veux apporter à mon restaurant. Cela fait de notre collaboration quelque chose d’unique.”

    (Peter Goossens, Hof van Cleve, Kruishoutem)

    Arts de la table

    Dépouiller la table du superflu, permettre à l’œil de se concentrer sur l’essentiel, surprendre le convive par quelques aspérités inattendues… Les arts de la table se mettent tout entiers au service du plaisir du mangeur.

    Pieter Stockmans signe la majeure partie des pièces. Sa collaboration avec Alain Ducasse date de plus de dix ans et une véritable complicité s’est instaurée entre le porcelainier et le cuisinier. Il apprécie d’ailleurs beaucoup son œil, très sûr, et son exigence. Pour le restaurant de l’hôtel Meurice, Alain Ducasse a sélectionné des formes d’une grande simplicité auxquelles Pieter Stockmans a ajouté une touche spéciale. Par exemple l’assiette O’reille : elle est devenue légèrement ovale – ce qui représente un tour de force technique tout à fait remarquable. Ou encore l’assiette Disk : sa porcelaine, très brute, est rehaussée d’une pluie d’or qui lui confère sa noblesse.

    Toutes les pièces sont entièrement réalisées à la main. Elles sont donc toutes légèrement différentes, la patte de l’artisan s’exprimant à chaque fois dans l’objet. Comme le dit Pieter Stockmans « Chez nous, tout le monde doit avoir une part de créativité. » Et il ajoute « Ce qui commande la création, c’est la matière et la fonction. Nous découvrons les idées au fur et à mesure du travail sur l’argile et nous cherchons en permanence à repousser les limites. » L’assiette Nautilus est un bel exemple de cette approche : son aspect mat, sa texture brute et surtout son bassin à la forme inattendue en font un objet singulier dont Pieter Stockmans conserve jalousement le secret de fabrication.

    Pour le dessert, la rupture est forte puisque le blanc cède la place au noir. Les assiettes à dessert viennent de chez J.L Coquet, le célèbre porcelainier de Limoges. Pour le dessert encore, les gavottes sont présentées dans une délicate cagette en argent, rencontre inattendue d’une matière noble et d’un objet d’essence roturière.

    Les verres à vin en cristallin, très élégants, sont spécialement réalisés par MD Crystal pour le restaurant. Les verres à eau ont été choisis chez Carlo Moretti, le verrier de Murano qui maitrise la technique bien particulière permettant, pour chaque pièce, d’obtenir des couleurs différentes intégrées chacune une forme spécifique.

    On découvre aussi sur la table deux autres belles pièces originales. L’une est le beurrier, taillé à la main par Mustapha Messaoudi (Lou Mortie, dans le Var), artisan reconnu par le Collège culinaire de France. Sa forme est d’une audacieuse simplicité : un simple parallélépipède – clin d’œil à la forme du pavé parisien. L’autre est la tablette à pain qui se présente comme une simple planche à l’aspect mat et au toucher soyeux, elle aussi d’une très grande pureté de ligne. Réalisée en résine, on la doit à la Californienne Tina Frey.

    Le décor de la table change selon les services. Au déjeuner, le convive trouve sur la table de magnifiques moules à gâteaux en cuivre tout droit sortis de la collection personnelle d’Alain Ducasse. Le soir, ce seront des légumes posés sur une belle tablette en bois d’if du Château de Versailles, hommage d’Alain Ducasse à la nature qui l’inspire depuis toujours.

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    Works of art

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