Rise Art

Rise Art picks: 8 essential art material retailers

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott @ Rise Art on July 30, 2010

As an artist, shopping for supplies can be a bit of a mixed-bag. While it can be exciting and open up new avenues for creativity, it also can be a bit of a drag. The cost of supplies, indecision over selection, and drag of hauling everything back to the studio can leave anyone thinking twice about a trip to the art store.

If you are going to go through all of the hassle of getting new supplies, at least the experience should be fun. Here are our selection of some of the best places in the UK to purchase new supplies.

1. Cowling and Wilcox – London

This smart art supplier has three stores in London, East, South and West. Our team enjoys popping in to the store on Shoreditch High Street to browse and if we are honest, dream a bit about all the stuff we’d like to buy. According to their website, the South London branch is the biggest art supply store south of the river. We have been pushed not to find what we were looking for here.

2. Atlantis Art – London

This East London based arts and crafts material store is one of London’s leading suppliers. Most materials can be found here – in professional and student quality. We have heard rumors of less than friendly service from the staff. If this has you thinking twice, try their mail-order service as an alternative, or make a day trip out of it, and seek relief at the nearby Whitechapel Gallery.

3. Cass Art – London

In our experience, Cass Art offers excellent service next to a wide range of professional art materials, including a large variety of papers – and all their stores are open 7 days a week! The flagship store in Islington is worth a look.

4. Ashley Studio – Wells-next-the Sea, East Anglia

This little studio, established in 1979, simply needs a mention! It is actually Hazel Ashley’s artist studio. However, a comprehensive range of artist materials is on sale and if you are lucky, you might get to meet other artists from the area! If you are in the area, it is worth a look – No public website to the best of our knowledge. But we do have the address: 19, Staithe Street, Wells-next-the-Sea, NR23 1AG.

5. The Art Shop – Rutland, East Midlands

We like the Art Shop for its knowledgeable and remarkably helpful staff! Moreover, the art shop supports students and students with valid ID receive a discount on their entire purchase.

6. Ward’s Arts and Craft – Gateshead – North East

This store has been around for over 150 years; it is one of the leading arts and crafts suppliers in the north of England. Additionally, this store offers a professional photography and reproduction lab. A great store to loose yourself in.

7. Greyfriars Art Shop – Edinburgh – Scotland

Another classic artist supply store, Greyfriars was established in 1840. The store specializes in painter supplies, and is geared towards the serious artist, given their proximity to local universities. They offer a student discount, and have a knowledgeable and supporting staff. Can get very crowded at times!

8. The Art Shop – Abergavenny, Wales

This rather young concept store is housed in a renovated 16th century building. On the ground floor is an great variety of art and crafts materials available, as well as books. The first floor and basement house galleries with a regularly changing programme. Launching an internet sales channel in the near future as well.

What have we missed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


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