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Doesn’t it just figure that the fashion capital of the world would also sell hand-crafted “paper couture?” That’s what some call the beautifully hand-crafted items you’ll find at Intaglio boutiques in the Paris 6th and 17th arrondissements.
Owner Stephan Le Sauter didn’t set out to be a paper coutourier, if you will. The engraver learned his craft in San Francisco, then returned to his Paris home to study with French master crafters who taught him the finer points of intaglio (engraving, Italian) and small press printing. Le Sauter earned a prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) distinction that certifies him as a master craftsman of elevated status.
Le Sauter opened the first Intaglio boutique in the front of his 17th arrondissement printing shop and the boutique in the Paris 6th followed. Stephan and his team of print crafters produce the pieces, mate Anne does the graphic design applied to fine paper in rich colors that highlight Stephan’s embossing and engraving skills.
“Our designs are really influenced by the technique,” says Stephan Le Sauter.
Unlike his MOF tutors, who are devoted ensuring that classic French design aesthetics survive, Stephan combines age-old techniques with modern typography. He and Anne use understated fonts and designs instead of classical ornamentation found in classic French typography. Add in luxurious paper stock and you’ve got the le Sauters’ distinctive Intaglio look.
In 1996 he displayed his inaugural card (his son’s birth announcement) in the print shop window and it was an instant hit with French moms. Intaglio has grown and today occupies a full block in the Paris 17th. The shop in the Paris 6th near the Luxembourg Gardens is smaller (printing is done in the 17eme) but no less full of choices.
Both Paris Intaglio boutiques also carry “ready-to-wear” collections of artisanal cards, notebooks, bookmarks adorned with French sayings, journals and other gift items perfect as souvenirs.Intaglio offers custom wedding invitations, birth announcements, business cards and thank you notes. You choose your typeface, layout, paper stock and pigment, then their crafters make a custom stamp with your design. It’s all very much a hand-crafted process that results in pieces that delight the hand as much as the eye. And, really, such keepsakes are treasured and framed for display, so the relatively small investment of 3-5€ for a custom announcement or invitation is worth every centime.
Tél: 01 4544 9002
3, rue de Fleurus, Paris 6th
Hours Tuesday- Friday from 11am-7pm and Sat 10am-6pm
Main store and print shop:
Tél: 01. 4025. 3466
87, rue Lemercier, Paris 17th
Photo credits: Intaglio shop photos ©Stephan Le Sauter and bookmarks photo ©Karen Fawcett
©Dali Wiederhoft 2011
Dali Wiederhoft is the executive editor of BonjourParis. Please click on her name to read more of her stories published in BonjourParis.
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