Tag Archives: Folly Cove Designers


Thank you to Leslie Heffron who mentioned in last week’s podcast that she had done nearly all her holiday shopping at the Cape Ann Museum. The Museum’s gift shop is simply a treasure trove of unique and special gifts for loved ones of all ages on your Christmas list.

Cape Ann Museum -9 ©Kim Smith 2015

The inspirational and beautiful Folly Cove Designers Catalogue is in its third printing! First published in 1996 in conjunction with an exhibition held at the Cape Ann Museum, the book incorporates updated information.

Cape Ann Museum -7 ©Kim Smith 2015From the witty and wonderful art of Virginia Lee Burton comes the Cape Ann Museum’s exclusive new carry-all tote bag “Gossips.” Made of a very sturdy 100 percent cotton, with magnetic closure and zippered inside pocket. 

Cape Ann Museum -2©Kim Smith 2015Terrific Trivets!

Cape Ann Museum ©Kim Smith 2015The Museum is closed tomorrow, Wednesday, for the 7th Annual Women’s Luncheon, and will reopen Thursday at the usual 10am time. Open Tuesday through Sunday, the Cape Ann Museum also has a terrific schedule of events lined up for Saturday, December 12th, for the Middle Street Walk. Click here for programming. The Museum is free and open to the public all day.

Cape Ann Museum's Victoria decorating for the 7th Annual Women's a Holiday Luncheon.

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

See More Here Read more


Alexandra's Bread Louise kenyon ©Kim Smith 2015Don’t miss this rare opportunity to purchase exquisite handmade vintage linens. Pictured above is a Louise Kenyon table mat from 1943, in absolute mint condition. Alexandra has a fabulous array of table runners, place mats, and holiday cards by Folly Cove trained artists Sara Elizabeth and Isabel Natti, printed on cotton on the original acorn press. The prices are incredibly reasonable, starting at only five dollars for the cards and twenty dollars for the linens. I am positive any one of these whimsical designs would make a treasured gift (or you may just have to purchase one for yourself as I am so tempted to do!). Alexandra has many more designs than what you see pictured here so stop in and have a look see!

Alexandra's Bread -2 ©Kim Smith 2015

Alexandra's Bread Isabel Natti Lobster ©Kim Smith 2015

Alexandra’s Bread is located at 265 Main Street, Gloucester. They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30am to 5pm.

To learn more about Virginia Lee Burton and the Folly Cove Designers, visit the Cape Ann Museum’s beautiful collection of art and artifacts from the group’s heyday, on display in the Folly Cove room.


The Best Christmas Decoration EVER! (Not to Overstate it)

This year I was lucky enough to acquire one of the limited-run wall hangings created in printer Julia Garrison’s studio & shop, The Sarah Elizabeth Shop, in Rockport. The piece hangs near our dinner table and I stare at it during every meal, surprised every time by the beauty and the level of detail in the design.

The wall hanging was printed from a block carved in 1950 by local artist Delores Rapp, who was trained by Virginia Lee Burton, the founding member of the Folly Cove Designers, so it is only fitting that over six decades later, prints are being made from the block using the same Acorn Press that was used by the Folly Cove Design Collective, which Julia uses in printing both archival and her own original designs.

Julia prints this piece in a few different colors. Mine is printed in red ink on a natural linen background.

Julia prints this piece in a few different colors. Mine is printed in red ink on a natural linen background.

This year, the current owner of the vintage block (Delores Rapp passed away a few years ago) came to Julia and they worked out an arrangement that allows Julia to print a limited run of wall hangings from the block. All the wall hangings are hand-printed and sewn locally, using archival ink on linen, which lasts forever, so your descendents will still be enjoying this pieces many Christmas moons from now.

You can purchase the hanging (and see other options for ink/background colors) directly from Julia online HERE. Or better yet, go see her in her studio/shop this weekend at 5 Whistlestop Mall in Rockport to see the wall hangings — and her other wares — in person.

This piece is bound to be an heirloom in our own family — I am already attached to it more than pretty much any other holiday item I have — and will no doubt be equally as meaningful in the homes of every one else who gets their hands on one. It is beautiful both for the amazing design (when you consider that every detail was hand carved!) and for its connection to our local and current artistic heritage.

I’m sorry my photos don’t do it justice. Check it out at Julia’s online shop or in person to get the full effect of these limited-run pieces.

Just some of the detail of the design.

Just some of the detail of the design.


Valentine Cards by Isabel Natti

Kathy Chapman writes-

Valentine Cards printed from Isabel Natti’s linoleums are now featured at The Sarah Elizabeth Shop (open on weekends, by chance or appointment)….

They plan on carrying on the tradition of blockprinted fabric inspired by the work of the Folly Cove Designers. Artist Julia Garrison (of Lanesville) is working the historic Acorn Press.


5 Whistlestop Mall, Rockport

Website – http://www.sarah-elizabeth-shop.com/

For more info email Julia: garrisonjulia2@gmail.com

Photo: http://www.kathychapman.com

Isabel Natti Herring Plant Print

Isabel Natti’s Herring Factory Print is incredible on many different levels.  One is that it is visually gorgeous, but what the casual observer may not understand is how much detail and how accurate the entire scene is to how we actually did things back in the day.  Isabel worked for Wally Maggot, a guy who rented a pier that no longer exists on our property. They did the same type of whiting, squid and herring packing that my Grandfather Captain Joe, and Father and Uncle’s company did.

If you look at the photo up in the top right corner she tells the entire story starting with the two pair trawlers catching the herring.
Next in the middle, the boats are offloading at the dock where the herring get weighed and go up a conveyor into the pen room.  From the pen room they would travel down on conveyors down the packing lines where they would get packed into 45 pound cases.  Then they would get covered, weighed and then placed on big freezer racks.  Next along you can see the person making up the boxes on the same box stapling machine that we used where you would press down with your foot on the pedal and it would swing the arm to staple the corners of the cardboard boxes.  Lastly they get loaded on the truck to head off to the freezer.
I can’t believe she captured the entire scene in one frame. It is all there- the story of many many people’s day on Gloucester Harbor.  I can see it all and it will live on through her work even though the piers have long fallen into the ocean.
Part II of our interview will be posted at 9:00AM

Lobster Placemats Made With The Acorn Press

These lobster placemats can be purchased at The Sara Elizabeth Shop where Isabel Natti hand presses them with the Acorn Press.  Part II of our interview with Isabel Natti will be up at 9:00AM

Sara Elizabeth Shop at Whistlestop Mall Rockport

All of these prints were made using the Acorn Press.   For more of the history of The Acorn Press, and The Folly Cove Designers click this highlighted text.   Interview with Isabel Natti due at 9:00AM

Acorn Press At Sara Elizabeth Shop

Here is the Acorn Press still used today at the Sara Elizabeth Shop at The Whistlestop Mall in Rockport.  Part one of my interview with Isabel Natti who maintains this tradition will run today at 9:00AM.

Sarah Elizabeth Prints At Alexandra’s Bread

Sara Elizabeth prints available at Alexandra’s Bread.  Check Out The Acorn Press that the Folly Cove Designers use to press these by clicking the highlighted text.

Sarah Elizabeth Prints, originally uploaded by captjoe06.