The house

Pieter passes his fifty years of expertise and love for the product to his to his daughter Widukind, who has seen to the day-to-day running of the 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

ATELIER

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.”

    Hof van Cleve 

    “I view Stockmans porcelain as a blank canvas for my cooking. A blank canvas which draws attention to the purity of the ingredients and their presentation. All Stockmans’ designs are contemporary and delightful to work with. No fancy frills, but instead subtle detail and a thorough focus on the essential. And that is precisely why I find their porcelain designs truly inspiring. The right plate can really make a dish stand out and so add even more to its presentation. 

    I have been working with Stockmans porcelain for three years now. Out of the current collection, Dauw, Disk and Carboniferous are my favourites. I also had some made to my own design, in order to create the perfect plate for serving a new dish. Piet and Widukind share my philosophy and the narrative I want to bring to Hof van Cleve. And that makes our partnership very special.”

    (Peter Goossens, Hof van Cleve, Kruishoutem)

    Le Meurice 

    Tableware 

    Declutter the table to allow the eye to focus on the essential, and surprise the guest with a little unexpected roughness and texture... With tableware that’s entirely designed to serve the pleasure of the diner. 

    The large majority of the tableware items are by Pieter Stockmans. His collaboration with Alain Ducasse which dates back more than a decade has created a real sense of complicity between the porcelain-maker and the chef. He especially appreciates his keen eye and high standards. For the restaurant at the Meurice Hotel, Alain Ducasse has opted for very simple forms, to which Pieter Stockmans has added his own special touch. For example, the shape of the O'reille plate with its slightly oval design is a remarkable technical feat. And the rough porcelain of the Disk plate is embellished with a shower of gold to give it a noble appearance. 

    All the pieces are made entirely by hand. As a result, every piece is slightly different, each expressing the hand of the craftsman in its own special way. In the words of the designer, Pieter Stockmans: “At our studio, everyone has to be creative”. He adds: “What drives the creative process is the material and the object’s function. We find ideas as we work with the clay. We’re always looking to push the boundaries of design”. The Nautilus plate is a good example of this approach: its matte appearance, rough texture and above all its unexpectedly shaped ‘well’ make it unique. Its manufacturing process is one of Stockmans’ jealously guarded secrets. 

    The dessert-ware marks a clear break with convention, with white giving way to black. The dessert plates are by J.L Coquet, the acclaimed manufacturer of Limoges porcelain. For the dessert, crispy lace crêpes are presented in an intricate silver crate, resulting in an unexpected combination of noble and everyday materials. 

    The elegant crystalline wine glasses have been especially made for the restaurant by MD Crystal. The water glasses are by Carlo Moretti, the Murano glassmaker who has mastered the very special technique of obtaining different colours within uniquely shaped creations. 

    The table also features two other particularly beautiful and original tableware items. One is the butter dish, handcrafted by Mustapha Messaoudi, stone craftsman and founder of the Var-based company Lou Mortié, recognised by France’s chefs association for culinary quality, Le Collège Culinaire de France. The dish’s daringly simple shape – an uncomplicated parallelepiped – is a nod to traditionally shaped Parisian paving stones. The second tableware item is the bread tray in the form of a simple board, which has equally clean lines and features a matte finish and soft feel. The tray is made of resin and was designed by the Californian Tina Frey. 

    The table decoration changes depending on the meal being served. On the lunch table, guests can find magnificent copper cake moulds taken from Alain Ducasse’s personal collection. In the evening, the vegetables are placed on a beautiful yew wood table from the Château de Versailles – a tribute on the part of Alain Ducasse to nature, which has always been one of his great sources of inspiration.

    Duvel

    Pieter Stockmans has designed three unique glasses for Duvel
    Artists including Arne Quinze, Daan and Stefan Glerum have done similar in the past.
    In 2016, Duvel teamed up with Genk designer Pieter Stockmans for their artistic range of Duvel glasses.


    Duvel Moortgat has never hidden its passion for design.
    The brewery has actually set up several partnerships with art centers in the past,
    and can also look back on successful collaborations with artists, performers
    and even chefs, all of whom have creatively restyled the iconic Duvel glass and bottle.

    Names including conceptual artist Arne Quinze, Brussels artist Denis Meyers, musician and creative genius Daan and British design duo Eley Kishimoto have in the past let their imaginations run free and honoured the Duvel glass with clever design.

    Pieter Stockmans was given carte blanche – with a view to the holiday season – for the Duvel artistic collection in 2016.
    The Genk designer is revered among the leading lights in the world of gastronomy for his unique,
    sustainable and traditional tableware graced with personal touches.
    To say Stockmans is to say white, ‘Stockmans blue’ and porcelain.
    All features which can also be found in these three glasses with a clear nod to the experimental.

    The Duvel designs by Studio Pieter Stockmans were produced in a limited run of just 100.
    Another wonderful collector's piece to put under the Christmas tree. (DB)

    Weekend Knack 07/12/2016

    Bespoke

    Works of art

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