Elizabeth Ann Brown grew up in the town of Mt. Sterling, KY, and was always fascinated by sheep. In 1984 she moved to a farm on Grassy Lick Road and began raising sheep. She now tends a flock of 80 Dorset, English Leicester Longwool, Karakul and Cotswold. Each breed has a different color and texture to its fleece.
Elizabeth soon learned how to spin, and with so much wool on hand she began to consider ways to using pounds instead of ounces of wool! She began making braided rugs, now a full time occupation. The rugs are made with natural colored wool ranging from cream, red, brown, black and taupe to shades of gray. Each rug is made using the Karakul and Cotswold for its many shades of color, the English Leicester Longwool for the staple length and luster and the beautiful white of the Dorset for loft.
After shearing in May, the wool is washed, sorted and taken to a woolen mill to be processed into un-spun strips called roving. Elizabeth sometimes dyes this wool roving using natural dyes she creates from plants growing on her farm.
This wool roving is then braided and sewn with wax linen thread. The wool and linen thread compliment each other as natural fibers, with each binding to the other to make a well-constructed rug. Elizabeth also makes rugs with felted wool, making the rug resistant to moisture and stains. Each one-of-a-kind rug is signed with a small wooden cherry insignia.
Elizabeth Ann Brown’s work can also be found at Appalachian Fireside Gallery, Berea, KY; Appalachian Artisan Center, Hindman, KY; Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, Harrodsburg, KY; and many Kentucky State Park gift shops.