I’ve finally joined the rest of the world by opening an Etsy shop! It’s taken a while for me to figure out what kind of items to sell, since I’ve given up mass-producing dolls and kits, etc. I could have really used a service like this 30 years ago, or even 10 years ago. At the moment, I’m happy to offer three brand new posters of some of my more popular fabric relief pieces; Self Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion, Rabbitat and On Halloween.
The 18″ x 24″ posters are high quality reproductions, printed on sturdy 100 lb. paper. My sister, Anne Mavor did a beautiful job with the graphic design–so tastefully done. I’m very excited to be offering these, so please visit my shop!
My cousin John and his wife Mariana had a baby girl on March 1st, so I had to drop everything and make a baby banner for Eliza Jane. I took photos along the way, which give an idea of my process. It’s like the wedding banners I’ve been making for a few years. You can see all of them here.
I first made a simple pattern, with her name, birth date and weight written out. Then I cut out a smaller felt square and bent wire to form the letters and numbers.
I wrapped the wire with 2 strands of variegated embroidery floss, hiding the knots behind the curled ends. In this case, wire had to overlap to make the Z. I tried making the fancier lower case script Z, but it was hard to read, so I went with the simpler zigzag style. Below you can see how I made an orange stripe with another thread on top of the embroidery floss in JANE.
I like using variegated thread to edge the felt.
I made a narrow panel for a sheep button and some leaf beads.
Glass leaf beads and a chain stitched vine fill the space between the words.
I’ve had this ceramic sheep button for about 30 years. It’s so satisfying to put it to use in just the right place.
I braided some Greek leather that I bought at a bead show and made a strap to hang the banner. Working with the leather reminded me of making gimp projects at camp. Remember gimp? What a weird material!
Welcome to the world Eliza Jane!
I’m happy to announce that the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit is going coast to coast! 25 original fabric relief illustrations from Pocketful of Posies, plus some illustrations from my other books will be displayed at the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, Henry Madden Library, California State University, Fresno, CA, from March 18 – May 27, 2013.
This arrangement came about because a librarian at the Arne Nixon Center saw my illustration on the cover of the current issue of Horn Book Magazine. (See how I made the cover artwork here.) She found out about the touring exhibit and inquired about sending the artwork to Fresno. Luckily, half of the pieces in the show are available during the time slot she was interested in, so they’ll be shipped to California in a little over a year. The other half will be shown at Cedarhurst in Mt. Vernon, Illinios about the same time, from Feb. 23rd to May 5th, 2013.
Plans are in the works for the show to travel to some other locations, which I’ll announce when arrangements are confirmed. I’m so glad that people in different areas of the country will be able to see my work “up close and personal”. Inquiries from non-commercial, secure venues with museum lighting and a shipping budget are welcome. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Self Portrait detail
My show, Salley Mavor: Sewn Stories will be at the Brattleboro Museum in Vermont for just 2 more weeks. It’s a wonderful little museum in a great town! Many people have seen the exhibit since it opened last July , but I know there are others who have been thinking about going, so now is the time. The show will be there through Sunday, February 5th, 2012.
The show includes several originals from Pocketful of Posies as well as illustrations from some of my other books. My Self Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion and Rabbitat are on display, too. After the show ends, the self-portrait will be returning to its semi-permanent home at the Woods Hole Public Library.
I don’t usually toot my own horn so loudly, but I want to share a few sentences from this review of the show, which came out in Art New England:
“In astonishing detail, Mavor’s work above all conveys an artist who is entirely present. Beyond merely illustrating a story or poem, she brings us into it. Engaging with these works is like searching for stars in the night sky–at first we don’t recognize the extent of the delicate endless stitching, but as we keep our eyes focused, more and more appear. Surely her thread is gossamer, her fingers unimaginably nimble.”
I thought I’d come out of my blissful hibernation just long enough to show a few pictures of my studio in its current state of messiness (productivity). For some people, winter is to be endured, but I love this time of year, when I can spent hours working on projects, with less distractions. Last winter I spent 4 months working on the Rabbitat piece. See the short film and posts about it here. This winter, I’ve started constructing scenery and characters to use in stop-motion animation, which I’ve wanted to do for a long time. My husband, Rob and I are working together on the project and have started experimenting. We’re not ready to show anything or describe the story yet and are still in the early learning stages of the production. The process is incredibly time-consuming and we’ll be happy if we can put together a 2 minute film. I guess I wanted to show that I’m busy working!
An old friend asked me to make a pin for his wife. Even though I don’t usually do commissions, I couldn’t say no to this request.
David Wiesner (the amazing children’s book illustrator) and I were in the same class at RISD (1978) and he bought some of my pins back then. See posts about my pins here. He gave them to his future wife, Kim Kahng, who was a student at Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia during that time. At RISD, David and I were lucky enough to have David McCaulay as a teacher. See the pyramid pin I gave him here. Several years ago, David and Kim’s apartment was destroyed by a fire and everything was lost, including the pins. Years passed and David was reminded of the pins when we recently got back in touch. He thought it would be nice for Kim to have a new pin. I found out that she is a pianist and since I had just returned from visiting Istanbul, where carpets are sold at every street corner, I made a piano flying on a carpet. The pin is about 1 1/4″ x 2″. As you can see I made use of hooks and eyes. David reports that Kim is wearing the pin every day! I’m amazed at how the pins I made 35 years ago still hold memories.
I am overwhelmed by the response to the Horn Book poster giveaway! Thank you to everyone (107) who entered. I am very touched by so many lengthy, thoughtful and generous comments on the giveaway post, well beyond the usual minimal missives.
Drum roll, please. The winner is Marianne Monaghan! I’ll notify her by e-mail and find out where to send the poster. Anyone who’d like to buy posters ($7 within the US, $10 outside the US) from the Horn Book can call (Eastern Standard Time) or email any of the following:
800-325-9558 ext 7942, 614-873-7942, email@example.com
I gave a poster to Woods Hole Library Director Margaret McCormick, to hang up in our library.
I just had to show you this picture of one-year-old Helen dressed as a lamb, which was in the most recent Woods Hole Library newsletter. Her mother, Kellie Porter was working at the desk in the library when I brought in the poster. Kellie and I were both surprised to see the similarity between her daughter/lamb and my little girl/lamb swinging from the tree in the poster. I made the artwork for the magazine this past summer and Kellie hadn’t seen the Horn Book cover until I showed her the poster, so the resemblance was unexpected. By the way, Helen’s costume is not homemade, but I think it could easily be copied. I wish I had thought to add a collar and bell!