In an age when our high streets have become conglomerated into sterile repetitions of identikit, brand-led emporia, finding a little shop of wonders is a special thing. They are usually specialist and tucked away from the brash high street in slightly obscure locations. My find today was no different.
I had a need for printmaking supplies and the word from those in the know was that Intaglio Printmakers in Southwark was the place to go. Taking the train down to the Emerald City I eventually ascended from the underground at Borough Tube station, emerging to quiet streets, blue skies and bright sunlight that cast strong shadows from buildings and stark, leaf-bare trees. A short walk took me along Southwark Bridge Road to Playhouse Court where a darkened alley revealed my quarry.
The door opened to a tinkling accompaniment and I descended the basement stairs to a shop crammed to the gunwales. Paper, sourced from the four corners of the globe, ink of many types and hues in tins and tubes, wood blocks, etching plates, rollers and hand presses all were to be found in the nooks, shelves and crannies – every type of printmaking catered for, from etching to relief, screen to lithographic and more. My own requirement was for cutting tools and with wonderfully knowledgeable support I was guided through a case containing an array of options, from beginners kits to high end Japanese tools, ingeniously designed in a traditionally simple way. I went for some Swiss ones and added a sharpening block and pack of lino to my list of purchases.
Surprisingly perhaps, Intaglio’s origins are in Australia, founded in 1981 in Newington Causeway and run from it’s inception by Karyn White. Now joined by her financial partner Christine Munton, the shop is thriving, supplying both over the counter as well as by mail order from it’s charming home in the heart of Southwark. Long may it continue.
For more information on Intaglio Printmakers, visit their website or Facebook page, or if you are in London and south of the river, drop in for a visit. You won’t be disappointed.
|The Shard casts it’s metaphorical shadow over this part of London|
|Shadows and reflections at Borough Underground station|