Meet Tableware international’s Designer of the Year 2024, Charlie Martens

Charlie Martens, Studio Mattes accepting Tableware International’s Designer of the Year 2024 award from Paul Giannetti of The Inspired Home Show.

Charlie Martens of Studio Mattes was announced as Tableware International’s Designer of the Year during the 2024 Awards of Excellence held at Ambiente on Sunday 28 January.

Charlie’s work has been described by members of our judging panel as mind-blowing, strong, new, influential, fresh and unorthodox. “His is definitely a new approach,” several of our judges said. “His collection is most outstanding – there is nothing stronger on the market than his work when comparing it to other products made from stoneware. He is so new and fresh; he deserves a lot of attention!”

Charlie Martens of Studio Mattes – who travelled to Ambiente to accept the award with his two sons Louis and Arthur – began working in the hospitality industry 20 years ago, distributing tableware, glassware and cutlery to restaurants and brasseries.

Charlie Martens pictured with his sons Louis and Arthur who travelled with him to accept the Designer of the Year 2024 award.

“Most of my clients were looking for innovative tableware and I helped them in their search,” he explains. Before long, Charlie began working with local potters and was inspired to start creating himself after spending hours in their studios.

“I started as an autodidact without any lessons or workshops – it was just as a hobby. I spent hours and hours reading and experimenting – just trying to make the world a little more beautiful in my own way.”

Eventually Michelin-starred chefs began to take note and his work was picked up by the likes of Mauro Colagreco, Kobe Desramault and Jonnie Boer.

“Initially we began with stoneware ceramics and followed with wood. For the past four years Studio Mattes has also been creating tableware with mouth-blown glass,” Charlie tells us.

On accepting the award, Charlie credited his team at Studio Mattes for their talent and support, saying his work would not be possible without them.

Learn more about Studio Mattes HERE

You can read a previous interview with Charlie in Tableware International’s HoReCa magazine HERE

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