Workshop 353 is Roman Road’s newest printing and custom-made framing service.
Currently operating on an appointment-only basis due to the coronavirus lockdown, proprietor Tobia Maschio offers custom and premade picture framing, as well as printing services.
Contrary to popular expectation, framing is not only for those in the lofty world of art collection.
‘The most popular request I have are everyday people wanting to get photos of their family members framed,’ says Maschio. ‘Grandparents who want nice images of their grandchildren, for example.’
Whether you want loved ones framed with care, or you are an artist looking to frame your latest work, Maschio has worked with a range of photos, prints, or indeed any object flat enough to be framed.
‘The smallest and maybe the most unusual object I have framed is a stamp. The largest item is probably a quilt that had sentimental value.’
The shop showcases a series of pre-designed metal frames, as well as wooden ones you can get handmade, complete with customisation. Maschio specialises in the latter.
‘I discuss what is the best way to flatter and flatten each object with the customers, and they can choose from a selection of different finishes and shapes,’ he says. These include varieties of lighter or darker wood, and even gold foil finishes.
He also offers professional printing and frame repairing services, including cracked glass. Still in the process of finishing off his shop, he plans for the front of his business to operate as a gallery, with works by local artists.
If Maschio looks like a familiar face, it is because he worked at GingerWhite, Workshop 353’s former iteration on 103 Roman Road, which has since closed.
Maschio bought the shop from former owner Chris White and reincarnated its brand as Workshop 353, taking the name from its new address at 353 Roman Road.
Now that he is towards the Globe Town end of the high street, does he miss being a whisker away from the market?
‘I love the market area, I do,’ he says. ‘But I do enjoy that the new location is really close to Chisenhale Arts Place and there’s generally quite an artsy vibe around here that I like. Also, I’m closer to Magus Coffee now, which I love.’
It is no surprise he is most at home surrounded by creativity. After all, he was an illustrator in his past life in Italy. A man who ‘wears many hats’ (in his own words) Maschio also has a PhD in Medical Anthropology and Mandarin Studies, spending a year studying in Beijing.
After moving to London in 2017, he took up the art of picture framing, yet another one of his ‘hats.’ In a callback to his old profession, however, he has framed artwork by some of the illustrators he admires the most.
‘I have had the opportunity to frame illustrations by Quentin Blake and Robert Crumb, which was an honour.’
Workshop 353, 353 Roman Road E3 5QR
If you liked this, you might also enjoy reading about Mama Mae’s, the new bespoke bakery on Roman Road.
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