Birds of Beebe Woods: cedar waxwing

Update: See the completed piece and read more about it here.
More and more birds are emerging in Birds of Beebe Woods, including this 6″ long cedar waxwing. Here are the felt parts before they were all embroidered and attached.

I like stitching the feather patterns and textures.

The September deadline for the Intimate Woods exhibit at Highfield Hall is approaching, so my goal is to make 3 small birds this week and more after that, if I have time. Then I have to attach everything to a stretched background, which usually takes longer than I think.

Beth from Acorn Pies in the studio

Beth Curtin, the woman behind the wonderful blog Acorn Pies came over this morning for tea. We met through blogging and have been talking about meeting face to face for a couple of years. She’s in the area, at her Cape Cod house this summer, so we were able to have a nice visit in person.

I cleared away a space for us at the end of my oak table for us sit. The other end is filled with the makings of my current piece, Birds of Beebe Woods. In the last month, I’ve added many birds and will show more pictures when I’m finished. Right now, I’m stitching a chipping sparrow and will make a woodpecker next.

Tessa’s tiles

Last fall, our new tile mural made by Tessa Morgan of Flying Pig Pottery was installed behind the stove. We had been looking at a piece of greasy plywood in the same location for 20 years, putting off the tile project because I couldn’t decide what I wanted. I was originally going to paint my own tiles, but eventually gave up on that idea. Years ago, I did paint some faux tiles in a different spot in the kitchen. See a post about those here.

We asked Tessa to design a landscape and seascape with animals. I had admired her pottery for years and we gave her the freedom to create her own menagerie.  Before they were installed, we laid out the pieces on our dining room table.

Here’s the mural with spacers, before the grout is applied.

We love living with Tessa’s tiles, which are made with a sgraffito technique, which she describes as “the art of carving through a colored slip to the contrasting clay body underneath”.

Tessa encouraged me to decorate some tiles, too, so I carved the narrow back splash strip under the windows. We spent a few enjoyable afternoons carving together in her Woods Hole studio.

A few years ago, Tessa made tiles for a wonderful mural in the Falmouth Public Library. Donors to the library renovation fund had their names carved into hundreds of tiles that cover the hallway leading to the children’s room.

She also makes beautiful lamps, dishes and mugs, all made with her signature sgraffito style.

Flying Pig Pottery’s studio is open to the public and is located on Woods Hole Rd. , just before you enter the village.

Birds of Beebe Woods (crow)

I’ve emerged from my months-long blissful state of stitching Birds of Beebe Woods, just long enough to show some process pictures of the crow, whom I’ve named Argyle.

He’s about 13″ from head to tail, with about 2 weeks worth of hand embroidery on his wool felt body.

From time to time, I’ll be posting photos of the other birds in the scene. See the introductory post about Birds of Beebe Woods here. This is a brief report–the birds are calling out, “September deadline, September deadline!”

Posies @ Mahopac, NY

Earlier this week, we delivered 30 framed originals from Pocketful of Posies to the Mahopac Public Library, which is the next stop on the tour (see full schedule here). The town is located in New York state, off  Rt 84, just over the border from Danbury, CT. The artwork will be on display for most of the summer, through Wed., August 29th. I will return to give a talk about my work that evening at 7:00pm.

Pocketful of Posies, July 3 – August 29, 2012 at the Mahopac Public Library, Mahopac, New York. Talk by Salley Mavor- Wed., Aug. 29th, 7:00pm

Independence Day 2012

It was an absolutely gorgeous 4th of July yesterday. The day started out rainy, with an iffy forecast, but the sun came out in time for the Woods Hole Parade and it stayed sunny through the fireworks at night. Our eclectic parade is light on the red white and blue, with more of an emphasis on science. Graduate students from different labs in the Marine Biological Laboratory march with sculptures they’ve concocted out of found objects. Some are more successful than others in illustrating their particular field of study, but they all have a lot of fun.  Every year, I am impressed by these future scientists’ creativity. It’s always a raucous event and like no other 4th of July parade in America!