Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 26 July 2019

Carreducker's London - Cornelissen

Greetings, greetings, dear shoe people, once more unto the breach. We hope you have had a great week and, if you are in Europe, are not suffering too much with the heat. We reached 38 C yesterday which was pretty extraordinary, not in a good way.

This week's post is part of our occasional series of places in London which we love. And on this occasion it is an art supply shop called Cornelissen in Bloomsbury. It was founded in 1855 by a Belgian lithographer called Louis Cornelissen and supplied pigments, paints and stretched canvases to local artists until the present day. Famous customers include Walter Sickert, Rex Whistler, Francis Bacon and Anish Kapoor.

It is a beautiful shop both inside and out.

As you enter, you immediately notice that this is not your run of the mill shop. The dark wood fittings are original and full of character, including the stairs to the basement

The counter is backed by three walls of shelves and draws with this clock a particular favoutite

Mysterious numbered draws - what do they house?

Another unique feature of the shop is the floorboards which are very creaky so it is impossible to wander round unnoticed.

We buy beeswax, colophony and tallow from here which we use in our home made thread wax, available from our online supply shop.

When you buy these dry materials, they are housed in floor standing wooden cupboards and the staff magically know where to find everything.

The packaging is simple but really lovely.

The higher shelves are filled with jars of pigments, carefully arranged into a rainbow of colours.

Cornelissen is on Great Russell St very near the British Museum, in Bloomsbury. So if you are visiting London and want to do something different, or even buy your own ingredients for making thread wax, you could do a lot worse that visit this hidden London gem.

And that is it for now. We hope you have a good week and look forward to seeing you back next time. Until then, happy shoemaking!

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