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Salley Mavor

I am a fiber artist and children's book illustrator. My fabric relief sculptures are photographed and reproduced in picture books. The books are not just for children--they're also used as art and reference books for all ages. I've also written the instruction book for adults, Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects.

Salley Mavor

Artist's statement:  I have had a life-long fascination with little things and needlework. Toward the end of art school, I rediscovered my childhood delight in sewing and creating miniature scenes. Leaving traditional illustration mediums behind, but still interested in narrative work, I taught myself stitching and fiber art techniques, which I used in my class assignments. For me, manipulating materials with my hands with a needle and thread was so much more satisfying than rendering with a pencil or brush. I found that I could communicate my ideas more clearly this way and that my hands would direct me in a compelling way.

My early pieces were soft sculpture, and then turned flatter, with raised figures and objects on a fabric background. I came up with the term “fabric relief” in 1982 to better describe my evolving method. My 3-dimensional pictures resemble miniature, shallow stage sets, with scenery, props and characters telling a story. I embroider, wrap, appliqué and paint different materials and found objects to create scenes in relief, with figures imposed on an embellished fabric background. My work is decorative and detailed, full of patterns from nature, all stitched by hand.

For the past 20 years, I’ve been working in the field of illustration, making artwork which is then photographed and printed in children’s books. The original fabric relief pictures have a second life when they are mounted and framed under glass in shadow boxes, ready to show and sell as individual pieces. Through my books, I hope to inspire children as well as adults to see art in fresh and unexpected ways.

Location:  Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA
Blog:  weefolk
Memberships:  SAQA, SCBWI
Languages spoken:  English

Detail of Self Portrait by Salley Mavor: a personal history of fashion, fabric relief, 2007, 12”H x 12” W x 1”D

Click on the slide show images to go to Salley's books on Amazon:

Tags:  mixed media, found objects, wool felt, dolls, beads, wood, RISD

1 comment:

  1. I have been a long time fan of Salleys work. So lovely to see her here. She deserves way more recognition from the mainstream. She needs to be in every library and book store!


“Drive a nail home and clinch it so faithfully that you can wake up in the night and think of your work with satisfaction,- a work at which you would not be ashamed to invoke the Muse”
-Henry David Thoreau

In our case, it would be the needle or other fiber tool. Drive it home! And, we all thank you for your words, left here to these good folks. Invoke your Muse!


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