Atelier Fontein. That’s four generations of furniture makers. A passion for craftsmanship. A focus on Belgian quality. A fondness for natural materials. A fascination for technique. A feeling for aesthetics. A necessity for functionality. A vision on furniture.
Atelier Fontein stands for honest, artisanal and Belgian quality. These characteristics go hand in hand with sustainability. I myself grew up surrounded by natural, high-quality materials. I was taught to search for innovative solutions and techniques with a long life cycle, with respect for materials and with a user-friendly result.
In turn, I want to spread this sense of sustainability. With Atelier Fontein I create furniture pieces that survive the test of time. Natural materials with a proven value, sustained with modern techniques. No replicas or half solutions to reduce the price. Authenticity and sincerity are paramount.
Among my peers, I notice a passionate vision for honest products and initiatives for improving the climate. The call for buying local products keeps getting louder and marches for the climate are omnipresent. I consider it my mission to show them how they can live even more according to these moral standards. After all, it is better to buy very thoroughly once, than to fall into the temptation of the disposable culture several times.
The generation getting mature now, is therefore an important target group for the Atelier Fontein furniture pieces. The furniture appeals broadly, but certainly touches a sensitive chord with people who are building their own place. I myself am part of this generation. My roots in tradition are combined in my furniture with my young, untamed enthusiasm. I embark on this adventure without preconceived ideas and follow my gut. Authenticity and uniqueness inspire.
I have an urge to create from what my environment has to offer me. In the interior and design company I work, we do our best to limit lost material. Of the few remnants that are not given a function in the finished custom work I still can’t quite say goodbye. That’s how my collection POEL came to be.
Sustainable quality is at the heart of my collections. I use different materials with a minimal amount of wear. Materials like Jute. A low-cost, but strong material with great value in the history of utilitarian and decorative objects. Materials like Walnut. A rich and warm wood species known for its robustness. Since walnut is a tree with a lot of sapwood, there normally is a lot of wood loss. Steaming makes it possible to also use this sapwood. Everything has its value. Materials like Linen. Again a material that’s proven its usefulness over the years. By using the weaving technique the delicate fibres get stronger. Wear and tear is avoided.
The manual techniques and finishing touches turn each piece into a one-of-a-kind item. From the weaving details to the covering of the patina, each piece of feature has its own story. The creation process is equally important as the design phase given the manual and artisanal aspect of the furniture. The furniture exists on paper, but only really comes to life in the materials and technique used.