• Words Alexandra Marvar
  • Photography Armin Tehrani

Studio Visit:
Heidi Gustafson

  • Words Alexandra Marvar
  • Photography Armin Tehrani

About five miles from the United States–Canada border, across the vineyards and raspberry barrens and the oxbow bends of Washington state’s Nooksack River, a dead-end road hangs a sharp left, sending me in the direction of artist Heidi Gustafson’s cabin. A view of snow-capped Mount Baker (or, in Nooksack, Kollia-Kulshan—“white, shining, steep mountain”) disappears behind the trees as I get deep into its foothills. 

In the shade of a woodland is Gustafson’s one-story, three-room home, formerly a music studio. From the outside, it looks charmingly cobbled together, dressed up with sage and dandelions and a sun-faded garland of prayer flags. One would never guess it houses the world’s best known, broadest reaching and most carefully amassed collection of natural pigments...

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