I made this beach scene In 1982 and haven’t seen it in all these years. Recently, I had the opportunity to borrow it from its owner, so that Rob could take a decent photograph. It’s funny how time and memory can play tricks. The old slide from 1982 was of such poor quality, that not much detail was visible. In my imagination, the piece had shrunk and the composition had changed. I was surprised to see that the piece actually measures 18″ W x 24″ H, utilizes a sewing machine and is mounted on a wooden board. Now-a-days, I hand stitch everything and attach the background fabric to a stretcher.
During this time, I experimented with small figures, creating bodies with cloth covered wire. These 2″ sunbathers are made with some kind of shiny polyester fabric, something I would be hard pressed to use today. But, I think it gives the illusion of sun tan oiled skin. You can see how I tried to stitch fingers and toes, but they look more like paws.
Back then, my designs were so much more graphic, with lots of open space. Now, I have a hard time keeping myself from filling in every inch. I’m inspired to find a happy balance somewhere in between. It’s helpful to revisit these pieces from early on, to notice the continuity, as well as changes that inform what I do today.
Just in case you’ll be anywhere near Lexington, Kentucky or Cape Cod this week, I wanted to let you know that my two summer exhibits will be coming to an end this weekend. I appreciate hearing from many of you, who’ve written to say how much you’ve enjoyed seeing the original artwork. It really is a different experience than seeing printed reproductions, either in my books or on the internet.
Pocketful of Posies is at the Lexington Public Library through Sunday, August 17th and the last day of Salley Mavor: Expressions in Stitches, Then and Now at Falmouth Museums on the Green is Saturday, August 16th (11am – 2pm).
Warning: this a shameless teaser! I’m so excited about this new book cover that I couldn’t wait to share it with you. The book is still in production and the technical editor and I have been going over the text and photos, making sure that the information and instructions will be as easy to follow as possible. Ann Haley at C&T Publishing has been remarkable in her ability to find errors and point out details that might need clarification. Now the latest edited version is off to the book designer and in September I’ll have another chance to check it through, before it’s sent off to the printer.
I’m so pleased that this crowd scene was chosen for the cover. I submitted a bunch of different images populated by figures that represent the doll projects in the book and this is the most animated. Rob took the shot from a high angle, with each waving doll’s head pointed upward, toward the camera.To see how the scene was photographed, go here. My goal was to give a hint of the fun inside by showing a wide range of wee folk, including, but not limited to fairies.
Autographed copies of Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures: 120 Enchanting Dolls will be in my Etsy Shop after the official publication date of March 1, 2015 (sorry, no pre-orders). If you wait and order from my shop next March, I’ll autograph it and include a special goody. I haven’t decided what kind of item yet, but it could be a new poster of a scene from the book. If you want to pre-order a copy, Amazon has it on their site already. The original book, Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects (including fairy skirts and wings) is available from my Etsy Shop.
Editing Felt Wee Folk manuscript
Last winter, I had the pleasure of being invited to look through the Falmouth Historical Society’s archives and choosing interesting items to be shown alongside my artwork. The museum’s curator, Amanda Wastrom came up with this brilliant idea, which creates a tie between art of today with objects from the past. We discovered many boxes full of delightful surprises, like collections of old eye glasses and doll shoes. There was no question that these favorote finds would be included somehow. I arranged the different styled spectacles, including a selection of green sun glasses on my table top and sewed them to a stretched piece of fabric. Each pair was unique in some way, but I liked playing around with the commonality of oval shapes of wire and glass. Someone said that these sun glasses made with wire mesh are from the 1700’s. We hung up the glasses display, along with other items from the museum’s archives. Sometimes visitors to my show are confused and think that everything hanging on the wall is from my own personal collection, so I want to clear that up. These dolls’ shoes and miniature knitted mittens melted my heart! The exhibit, Salley Mavor: Expressions in Stitches, Then and Now will be showing at Falmouth Museums on the Green until August 16th. I am thrilled that so many visitors have come already!
Three years ago, I commissioned a local filmmaker to make a video about my artwork. In this day and age, moving pictures, with spoken word and music seem to be one the most effective ways of communicating information. Daniel and Elise from Undercurrent Productions did such a great job putting together RABBITAT, using material they recorded in my studio and outside. The film has been an indispensable tool in helping tell the story of my artistic journey.
And, I’m happy to share the news that RABBITAT has gone beyond 12,000 views on Vimeo! To celebrate, I am offering a worldwide Giveaway. To enter, please leave a comment on this blog telling me what subject or theme you are drawn to in either making or looking at art. Two winners will be picked at random on July 31st, to win an 8 x 10 print of Slow Work, Fine Work.
print – Slow Work… Fine Work
The Woods Hole Public Library is having an exhibit titled “Renewal” this summer. Patrons and friends were invited to make something out of old books that would otherwise be thrown out. A couple of months ago, Margaret, the head librarian asked me if I thought this idea would be supported by the community. I said, “definitely yes”. But, I wasn’t even sure if I would have time to make something for the exhibit. Last Thursday, I found myself caught up with tasks that need immediate attention and devoted the afternoon to making a little doll dressed in clothes made from the pages of a book. My contribution, Paige Turner was just delivered to the library via bicycle.
Before we brought her to the library, Rob and I had such fun setting her up in different bookish scenes at home.
Paige and the other artwork made from recycled books are being offered in a silent auction to benefit the library. If you’d like to make a bid, please send the library an e-mail. Bidding via e-mail ends on July 31st at 7:00 pm (EST).
Since so many of you live too far away to see my exhibit at Falmouth Museums on the Green, I thought I’d put together a chronological slide show of the artwork on display. Because I know that you like closeups, the photos are all cropped images, with lots of details to see. The exhibit includes a sampling of pieces I’ve made from the years 1985 to 2014. The most recent effort is “Wee Gathering”, a collection of dolls featured in my upcoming how-to book, Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures: 120 Enchanting Dolls.
It would be wonderful to meet some of you at the museum this Saturday, July 19th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. there will be some time to chat and mingle and then I’ll give a visual presentation about my work at around 1:30 or 2:00 pm. There’s still time to see the show. The exhibit, “Salley Mavor: Expressions in Stitches, Then and Now” will be on display until August 16th. Falmouth Museums on the Green is located on the village green in Falmouth, Massachusetts and is open Tues. ~ Fri. 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, Sat. 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and Monday 5:00 to 7:00 pm. The exhibit is free to the public.