TOWNSEND — The folks at the Settle Shop in Townsend were browsing online looking for something new to offer their customers. They found more than they expected.
After receiving a postcard from Barry Simon, a scrimshaw artist, co-manager Carol Campbell discovered that Simon and his wife Patty are wonderful musicians.
“We thought it would be a great take for the store,” Campbell said.
“I would describe it as just very gentle and old-fashioned, a little bit Irish,” she said. The hammered dulcimer and flute duo perform throughout New England and released recordings.
On Oct. 8, during the first day of the Settle Shop’s annual sale, they will be playing live in the gift shop at 1 p.m.
“Due to the nature of the music, I thought it would very well here,” Campbell said.
Barry Simon plays and makes hammered dulcimers, often used in tradition American music. Patty Simon plays flute.
The Settle Shop carries his scrimshaw bookmarks and stationery.
Scrimshaw has a long history in New England. On long sea journeys sailors used to carve designs into whatever materials were available, commonly teeth and ivory.
When the travelers came home to New England, they brought these carvings home with them, creating a local art form.
Now, most scrimshaw work is done on other materials, since ivory comes from endangered species and can no longer be sold.
People will get a chance to see Barry Simon’s new scrimshaw on old ivory on Oct. 8 at the Settle Shop. “He told me he’s going to bring antique ivory piano keys that he’s done some scrimshaw on,” Campbell said.
Even though his work the store has sold is on other materials, cutomers like it. “They are loving it because it’s nice, especially for people that are visiting us in the area,” Campbell said.
Gifts and home décor are just a part of what the 53-year- old Settle Shop sells. The store manufactures settle or deacon benches, farm tables and harvest tables.
Unfinished furniture can be purchased “as is” or can be custom finished by the store.
Since the store has been open so many years, they see lots of repeat customers, Campbell said.
Recently, smaller condominium units have added a new customer base for the store. The shop supplied a breakfast nook for a model unit in a recent development. Many new owners in the complex have looked to the Settle Shop for furniture that fits in their new homes.
The annual sale runs from Oct. 8 to 16. The Settle Shop is located at 422 and 419 Main St., West Townsend.