About Salley Mavor

I make 3-dimensional fabric relief pictures that are photographed and used to illustrate children’s books. I sew together different materials to create fanciful scenes in relief, much like a miniature stage set, with figures imposed on an embellished fabric background. My work is decorative and detailed, full of patterns from nature and found objects, all sewn together by hand with a needle and thread.

France (Marseille streets)

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One evening, before the restaurants opened, we wandered around Marseille in the Le Panier section of the city. The streets were alive with families playing and socializing before heading inside for the evening. This city is gritty and real, but has an appealing esthetic quality. I loved the pastel shades of the houses and window stutters. Every narrow street had a story to tell.

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playful week

April Prince, Judy Sue Goodwin-Sturges and Salley Mavor

April Prince, Judy Sue Goodwin-Sturges and Salley Mavor

I spent the week playing with friends, both real and imaginary. Judy Sue and April from Studio Goodwin-Sturges came to visit. It was so fun to have them over! Judy Sue and I go way back to my art school days, when she was my teacher at RISD. She is still inspiring and challenging students to find their own way of working. In fact, she makes a point that her classes are about “making art”, not illustration. She’s all about opening up possibilities! Hearing her talk excitedly about her current classes made me feel lucky to have had her guidance early on.

The next part of the week was spent playing with dolls. I set up my doll house and Pocketful of Posies Tree at Highfield Hall for their Holiday’s at Highfield event (Nov. 28 ~ Dec. 7). You can see more photos of the house in last year’s post here. My doll house is inhabited by antique Santas and a family of dolls from my new book, Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures. I just found out that it’s release date is Feb. 16, 2015 and copies can be pre-ordered from C&T here. And, when the book is printed, I’ll be selling autographed copies (with an extra goody) through my Etsy Shop.dollhouse2014 This is the 3rd year I’ve decorated the Pocketful of Posies Tree and the 2nd year it’s been at Highfield for the holidays. I’m always happy to unpack and hang the nursery rhyme ornaments and spool garlands. I hear that people who see the tree are disappointed that the ornaments are not for sale. But, I’d rather display them together as a group every year, in a place where lots of visitors can see them. If you’re local, come join the festivities at Highfield Hall! posiestree2014 littlebopeepWM

France (Canal du Midi)

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Last month, my husband Rob and I went on a barge trip along the Canal du Midi in France. We were part of a group of 18 friends who rented 3 barges for a week. Rob put together photographs he and I took, along with videos of the trip. He made the film for our barge friends, but I really like the way it came out, so I thought I’d share it with the rest of the world.

Canal du Midi

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France (doorways w/vines)

La Redorte, France

La Redorte, France

Let’s go back to our recent trip to southern France. Among the gazillion pictures Rob and I took of doors and windows, there are more than a few which feature trained leaf vines and other plants. It was so odd to see vegetation growing out of the pavement, with no dirt in sight. I love the way a bit of greenery frames and softens the straight angles on the buildings.

Carcassonne, France

Carcassonne, France

MillePetit, France

Mille Petit, France

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Argen, France

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Argen, France

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La Redorte, France

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La Redorte, France

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Bram, France

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Marseilles, France

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Marseilles, France

new Ltd. Edition Fairies

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Ltd. Edition Fairies; Holly & Birch and Lilly of the Valley

OK, I’ve learned to never say never again! 3 years ago (in this post), I announced that Pansy would be my last Ltd. Edition Fairy. Looking back, I needed to close that chapter of my career, so that I could move forward and grow as an artist. It was an important and necessary step to take, but I’ve found that the desire to keep my hands busy has won out, especially while away from home. The portable nature of wrapping bodies and stitching felt clothing for these wee folk dolls is perfect for traveling. So, for 2 years I’ve been slowly working on a group of dolls, with the goal of eventually selling them in editions of 25. In keeping with my original intention of banning mass production work from my studio, I only worked on them when traveling, in airport waiting rooms, planes, boats, and  trains.  This arrangement allows me to have a stitching “fix” while away from my studio and there is no pressure to complete the set of dolls by a certain time.

For those of you who are new to my work, these fairies are the same designs found in my 2003 how-to book, Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects. The long awaited follow-up, Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures will be published in March, 2015.

Well, the dolls are finally ready to show themselves and have been added to my Etsy Shop! Two editions of 25, Lily of the Valley and Holly & Birch have been created in transit around the world, across oceans and continents, including America, South America, Antarctica and Europe. The dolls will only be sold through Etsy with a credit card or Paypal, on a first come, first served basis.

What happens when these sell out? Will there more in the future? Possibly, but realistically, it would be a few more years before they make an appearance. It all depends on how much idle travel time there is!

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Working on fairy tunics on a train en route to Toulouse, France

Lily of the Valley has blonde braids, a green wool felt tunic and a white flounced petal skirt.

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Lily of the Valley Ltd. Edition Fairies

During our barge trip in France, Rob took this photo of me engrossed in stitching felt fairy tunics, while waiting for a lock to fill along the Canal du Midi.

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Lily of the Valley Ltd. Edition Fairy

Holly & Birch are a girl and boy pair with dark brown hair and black and red wool felt outfits.

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Holly and Birch Ltd. Edition Fairies

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Holly and Birch Ltd. Edition Fairies

2 exhibits, many miles apart

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detail from “Birds of Beebe Woods”

I’m excited to let you know that some of my most popular pieces are included in 2 group shows which are both opening this weekend, one locally in Fall River, MA and the other way across the country in Arizona. Since it’s close to home, I’ll be going to the opening at the Narrows Center for the Arts and hope to meet some you on Sunday, Nov. 8, 4:30 – 7:00 pm.

detail from Rabbitat 2011

detail from Rabbitat 2011

Rabbitat and Birds of Beebe Woods are included in the group show, ART QUILTS XIX: Permission to Play, Storytelling Art Quilts at Vision Gallery , Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler, Arizona ~ Nov, 7, 2014 – January 17, 2015.

Click on this poster to read the list of artists in Art Quilt XIX:

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And the other show in Fall River…

detail from Self Portrait : A Personal History of Fashion 2007

detail from Self Portrait : A Personal History of Fashion 2007

Self Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion and Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary (from Pocketful of Posies) are included in this group show  ~ MODERN SPIN: CONtemporary TEXTiles in an Historic Mill at the Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River, MA. Nov. 7 – Dec. 27, 2014. Opening Sunday Nov. 9, 4:30 – 7:00 pm.

from "Pocketful of Posies" 2010

from “Pocketful of Posies” 2010

Click on the poster below to read the list of artists in Modern Spin:

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New wee folk cards

A Wee Gathering

A Wee Gathering

In anticipation of my new how-to book coming out next March, I’m excited to be offering a series of new note cards. It was hard to narrow it down to six images from the many project and inspirational photographs in Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures.

Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures 2015

Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures 2015

A year ago, my husband Rob and I were busy setting up scenes and taking photographs for the book, which I chronicled in these posts. I’m happy to finally share some of the scenes, which give a glimpse into the newest wee world! Cards can be ordered from my Etsy Shop. Of course, the Wee Folk Studio watermark will not appear on the printed cards. They come in sets of 4 of the same image, or a 6 card variety pack. The new cards include A Wee Gathering, Winter Play, A Buggy Picnic, Beach Babies, A Family Outing and Mary Had a Little Lamb.

Wholesale inquiries from retail shops are welcome. Please contact me for a price list.

A Wee Gathering and Winter Play bring to life a variety of doll projects from the book.

Winter Play

Winter Play

A Buggy Picnic is in the book’s photo gallery. The book includes directions for making the little girl doll in the doorway, but the houses and insects are added for fun and inspiration.

A Buggy Picnic

A Buggy Picnic

There are lots of wee folk babies in the book. I used my collection of shells to set up this Beach Babies scene.

Beach Babies

Beach Babies

A Family Outing pictures a woodland family emerging from a tree trunk doorway.

A Family Outing

A Family Outing

A schoolyard full of children fills the Mary Had a Little Lamb chapter.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Mary Had a Little Lamb