Last September I traveled to the United Kingdom on a Food and Fiber Lovers’ Tour organized by Kathy Brassill of Handcrafted Holidays. Our group of seven spent 17 days in Scotland and England on perhaps the best trip I have ever been on. Even though it’s now been months since the experience, it continues to motivate me in my own art. Kathy’s tour is unique in that she keeps her groups at 8 participants or less with travel in a small van down paths to out-of-the way places large buses cannot reach. We visited many artists in their studios. Ali Ferguson is one of those artists. She lives in Roslin, England with her husband, a university music professor and composer. Her studio is The Purple Thread Shed, which her husband constructed behind their home. Ali works with a variety of mixed media including paper, wood, embellishments, and vintage linens. Our group so enjoyed our time spent with Ali that Kathy’s 2015 tour will again stop to see her work, but with an added bonus, a workshop. Ali’s artwork fills her studio. Even her lower cabinets look like a piece of art. She explained a television crew was coming to see her studio, and she thought it looked boring, so she quickly applied old dress patterns to the door fronts.
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