Welcome to Blogging for a Cure!
Oh, boy! The Blog-A-Thon is nearly done. That means the time is soon coming when you will be able to bid on the snowflakes! Each piece of art is available to buy through Robert’s Snow, with proceeds going to cancer research. If you know anyone who has fought this disease, then you know how important research funds are in finding new treatments and an eventual cure. It’s great art for a great cause, so bid like crazy!
Today’s featured flakemaker: fabric artist and illustrator Salley Mavor!
I was very excited to feature Salley- I have seen her gloriously stitched and pieced artwork in person, and it is positively unique. Working with fabrics, needlework, beads, acorn caps, and whatever else she finds that works, Salley makes dimensional art that almost defies description.
Quilting? Embroidery? Dollmaking? Yes, all of that- and more.
Her snowflake, Circle Dance, is here:
Salley learned to sew as a child and has been playing with a needle and thread since. Drawing with crayons was never enough- she remembers feeling that her artwork was not finished until something real was glued, stapled, or sewn to it. Salley has illustrated seven children’s books using her unique blend of materials and techniques.
As a lifelong stitcher myself, I had a few questions for Salley about the way she works!
Liz: I’ll bet your workspace is different from most illustrator’s space. Where do you like to work best? What’s in your workspace? What kinds of things inspire you and influence your art?
Salley: I work in a large room, surrounded by shelves and chest of drawers full of different materials like felt, beads, thread, acorn caps, stones, creeping ivy, milkweed pods and twisted tree branches. Most of the things around me may never make it in to my artwork, but I find it inspiring to have things from nature and beautiful colors around me. The room feels like being inside a cantaloupe, with pale orange walls and green window trim. In the middle is the same large oak table that I used as a child to work on art projects.
Liz: Are you always on the lookout for new fabrics to integrate into your art? Where do you find them?
Salley: I have a life time’s worth of fabric to use already and rarely go out looking for something specific, because I can never find what I like that way. Sometimes I look through upholstery samples and order some for a background fabric. I buy wool, plant-dyed felt from a family business. I’m not interested in making or dying felt myself, but prefer to use my time making things with it.
Liz: Each book illustration takes a month to create. Where do you get the patience?
Salley: It does take quite a while to do the illustrations and depending on the size and techniques used, I can cut down on the time devoted to each piece. But, there is no way to rush it, so I just relax into the rhythm of stitching. This way I have time to work out solutions and figure out how to make parts of the picture a new way. It doesn’t take patience as much as focus. I am happiest when at work in my studio.
Liz: What are you working on now? What would you like to work on in the future?
Salley: I am in the middle of making a 64 page book of nursery rhymes for Houghton Mifflin. It has taken 2 years so far and will come out in 2009 or 2010, depending on when my work is complete. I really like having a different rhyme on each page with a new set of characters to play with. After this book is finished, I want to make some non-illustration artwork, something with more personal expression. I took time this fall to work on a self-portrait, which has been very satisfying. It’s a time line of my life, with 52 dolls, one for every year.
Thanks Salley- it will be great to see these projects as they develop, stitch by stitch!
Don’t forget to bid on Salley’s snowflake at the Robert’s Snow website. The auctions start on November 19th, and Salley’s will be available starting December 3rd.
Follow the links below for more great flake features!
Friday, November 16
- Mary Haverfield at Your Neighborhood Librarian
- Lisa Kopelke at Lisa’s Little Corner of the Internet
- Greg Newbold at The Longstockings
- Elizabeth Sayles at AmoXcalli and Cuentecitos
Saturday, November 17
- Paul Brewer at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
- Aaron Zenz at Jo’s Journal
- Wendy Edelson at What Adrienne Thinks About That
- Joan Waites at Chicken Spaghetti
Sunday, November 18