“Follow your heart and do what you dream of!”

Martin Blommaert (1965) started studying at “De Analistenschool” and followed an internship for a couple of months at “De Koninklijke Porseleyne Fles Anno 1653” – later “Royal delft”. He stayed here for a couple of years longer, thirty-two in total. In order to share his ceramic insights, he traveled all around the world during this period. Because of these experiences Martin also learned a lot from others, he  Gratefully absorbed the local knowledge, soaking it up like a sponge.

“Royal Delft is a great company, but I wasn’t feeling fulfilled… I thought, I’m fifty years old, have always worked for a boss, what would it be like…”

Martin regularly stayed in South East Asia. He often worked in Lampang, Thailand. He loved living there and began to fall in love with the country, the culture, the food and the beautiful weather. Work –related it was also a favorable region. He could get a lot of good material,: “I could buy everything I wanted, never was I without raw materials”.

Martin finally decided to take the plunge and set up a new business together with his former manager Ronald, named “Blue Ceramics B.V.”. With the obtained license the adventure had started and the factory was opened. Martin describes this period as a fantastic experience, but unfortunately Ronald and he ran in to financial trouble. Goods were often too long on their way by ship and this caused problems in the cash flow.

“Worked hard, learned a lot, laughed even harder, but also cried. Never regret it, I would even do it again tomorrow.”

The beginning of Studio RAW

Rob and Matthijs, the owners of Stylepoint, have known Martin for years. Formerly, Stylepoint was located in the Jamess Watt Straat in Gouda, next to Piket Zeefdruk, where Martin developed preprints. At that time he was working for Heinen Delftware in Putten, but felt sort of out of place. He felt there was no stimulus and no challenge. Knowing he would like to quit his job he started looking for something else, secretly. He wanted to focus more on food- or pharmaceutical production.

Meanwhile, in an Amsterdam pub, Rob and Matthijs got the realization that tableware is good for a big part of the presentation of a dish. The entire taste experience depends on the total experience that is set. Where first a plate was sought together with a concept, they wanted to have plates fully developed with the concept in mind. And so the first ideas for Studio RAW were worked out on a beer coaster.

Rob shared the idea with Martin, and one thing led to another. “At some point my wife said: why don’t you send your resume to them? Maybe when you will stop at Heinen, you can help them…”

Martin was hired as ceramic technician for Studio RAW and together with Rob and Matthijs the idea of an in-house studio was further developed.

 Studio Raw

The true Valhalla in ceramic

“Within Stylepoint, everything is possible for me. Here, everything starts from the bottom. All things I need are discussed and purchased.”

Martin is a real morning person, he starts his day early (at 4:30 am!). At 6:30 in the morning he starts in the studio. The first thing he does is emptying the test oven, to see how the tests came out. This is a surprise every time, he tells. After this he fills the molds and has to let them set for about an hour. “Then I take a cup of coffee, I look around and realize again-and-again what a beautiful studio we have and what a nice job this is.”

Making glazes, engobes and trying out new colors, Martin is doing this the whole morning. After this, the molds are emptied, unloaded and finished. The ovens are also emptied and refilled. That’s how what keeps him busy all day. At 15:00 he switch off the lights and the day is over. He drives himself directly to the gym, another beloved passion of him. He ends the day with his wife on the couch in front of the TV and goes to bed on time:, “I’m on my feet all day long and my work is certainly not light. That’s why I really need the hours of sleep.”

A dream fulfilled

While reading, you probably noticed that Martin works with great enthusiasm in the Studio. He says that it is important to follow your heart, to realize the things that you dream of. Martin doesn’t let anyone hold him back from doing exactly that and that has been decisive for the way he acts in life. “It makes you sour and bitter to have to think afterwards; why didn’t I do that? Do not get stuck in a job because you need it financially. Fun work is incredibly important. Somewhere is that job for you, search and you’ll find… I’ve found it too!”.

Studio RAW is our own in-house production studio where you can develop tableware according to your own wishes. Curious? Visit the Studio once in our inspiration center in Utrecht, our ceramic technician Martin would like to welcome you. Visit bystudioraw.com or follow Studio RAW on Instagram  and stay informed of all our amazing and unique creations.

Martin Blommaert