It's been a while since I've done a Love This post so I thought it was about time I put that right.
Last Friday I cycled over to Forest Hill to meet up with Ed and Nancy from Place in Print a London-based design studio, manufacturer and retailer, who specialise in locally-themed art, homewares and gifts.
Before I tell you more about my visit to their studio let me show you a couple of their neighbourhood pun prints.
Aren't they great? There's more too on their website - take a look.
I think they'd look good in any house in London or elsewhere, and would make great gifts too as they easily allow you to connect with your area. There's not one for Blackheath or Greenwich yet, but I quickly found a favourite from close to where I grew up, but more on that later.
Their studio is based in pretty Havelock Walk, not far from Forest Hill station - and thankfully for my cycling self not up the very steep main London Road, although there were plenty of hills along the way. There's plenty of other creative, working artists with studios there too and they regularly hold Open Studio events.
What sets Place in Print apart is their links to the local community, for example Horniman's Museum sells their Walrus print in their gift shop. They've also designed lamp post banners showing local landmarks for Herne Hill and have a souvenir from that project proudly on display in the loo, not something that everyone has.
Their challenge is to find the iconic parts of London that we'll recognise, but also the parts that aren't overdone. When they've done that - no mean feat in itself, the creative process starts with a photo. Next comes a line drawing of the photo which includes enough detail for the scene to be recognised, but not overly detailed and it develops from there.
And this is where it all happens.
It's a bright and light studio, with windows along one side letting the light flood in. There's a huge desk providing plenty of space for creative activities and it looks pretty on trend too. I'm not sure what I expected to find on my visit, but I don't think it was this so it was a lovely surprise.
Most of their prints are printed onsite and they package and send their orders from another studio at the other end of the mews. I also learnt that they're looking to extend their homewares range, so I'll be keeping an eye on developments there.
As well as selling online Place in Print regularly visit London-based markets and have recently sold at the Lambeth County Show, so you may have seen them there. They're already planning which Christmas Markets they'll be at, and I've no doubt they'll be popular at whichever markets they choose.
Throughout my visit I was entertained and captivated by Johnny, a gorgeous Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen - which is a long name for a small dog! It's a breed I'm familiar with as my niece has a non Petit version called Brian. Clearly these dogs are meant for human names...
Just before I said my goodbyes Ed and Johnny showed me around the second storage and packing studio just along the way. And it was here that Ed mounted the Neighbourhood Pun print I'd mentioned earlier and gifted it to me as I left.
Thank you Ed and Nancy, it was great to visit your studio and learn more about your creative process. And thank you to Johnny too for the tickles and the soulful looks when we were too busy talking to throw him his ball.
Celebrating neighbourhood through locally-themed art and design.
This is a collaborative post, but all words and opinions are my own.