One week from today, Cape Ann Artisans will open its doors to the public as part of their Open Studio Tour weekend.
In all, 23 artists are participating — which means that 23 studios will be open for visitors. It is amazing to see the spaces in which the artists do their work. I did the tour last year for the first time, and loved every minute of it.
Think of planning for the tour as going on a treasure hunt. The 23 studios are spread out across Cape Ann – from Magnolia to East Gloucester to Rockport to Lanesville to downtown Gloucester.
You can download a map and brochure from their website at www.capeannartisans.com. It is best to plot your route ahead of time. I thought I knew the streets of Gloucester pretty well, but there are some studios tucked into nooks and crannies that I had to use the GPS to find.
Once underway, the treasures abound. As you make your way down Ferry Street, a little-traveled street in Gloucester, you must follow the signs carefully to the studio. At the end of the street is a boat yard with an old barn along the river and therein lies the studio. The marine and portrait artist has transformed this wooden boat-building building into an artist’s studio, and it is spectacular.
Further down the road to Lanesville is a pottery studio. Visitors are invited to come into the finished work display area and then to venture further back to where the work is produced.
There is an ingenious invention the artist has come up with modeled after some of the tools on the working waterfront. The pottery is placed on a heavy set of racks that roll on a track back and forth to the kiln – much like how boats are moved in and out of the water on marine railways which was the artist’s inspiration for the contraption.