Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Salley Mavor, A Textile Artist

I first became aware of Salley Mavor and her wonderful textile art when I discovered her book, A Pocketful of Posies.  Sally illustrates this book of nursery rhymes with beautiful needlework.  I thought it would be a perfect book for me to read to our two young grandsons.  I enjoy the book so much that I like to give it as a baby gift.

About four years ago Salley's started "traveling" exhibitions of her work.  I was thrilled to learn that one of these exhibitions is currently taking place at the library in Lexington, Kentucky (just about two hours from my home).  It was so wonderful to see the stitched pieces in person.  The detail on each piece is incredible.

I thought that you might enjoy seeing some photos.  Bear in mind, the needlework pieces were behind glass, which made photography a challenge.  In some of the photos, you will see reflections on the glass, but I thought you would still enjoy the photos.

See if you can identify the nursery rhymes before reading the name below each photo.  

One Two, Buckle My Shoe 

 One Misty Moisty Morning

Britisher Jo helped me out with the name of this poem.  It was a new one to me, so I googled it and found the words:
One misty, moisty morning, When cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man clothed all in leather.
He began to compliment, and I began to grin,
How do you do, and how do you do?
And how do you do again?

The picture above illustrates two nursery rhymes. At the top is Deedle, Deedle Dumpling, My Son John. At the bottom is Jack Sprat Who Could Eat No Fat.

You can see more photos and read about how Salley created this picture here.

The title of this picture, I Eat My Peas With Honey, was suggested to me also by Jo.  This was a new poem for me, and I thought it might be for you so I'm including the words.
I eat my peas with honey,
I've done it all my life,
They may taste rather funny,
But it keeps them on the knife!

Look at the detail. 

another enlargement 

Little Miss Muffet 

detail from Little Miss Muffet  

This Little Piggy 

detail from This Little Piggy  

detail from Wee Willie Winkie 

Little Bo Peep 

Old King Cole 

detail from Old King Cole  

detail from Old King Cole   

another detail from Old King Cole   

Although there is a reflection on the glass, I thought I would include this photo anyway. The picture is about two nursery rhymes that I don't know--Diddlety, Diddlety, Dumpty, The Cat Ran Up the Plum Tree… and Bow, Wow, Wow! Whose Dog Art Thou?

You can see much better photos here on Salley's website.

Little Boy Blue 

detail from Little Boy Blue

 You can read about this piece and see more photos here

To Bed, To Bed 

detail from To Bed, To Bed  

Old Mother Hubbard is illustrated on the left, and Hickory, Dickory, Dock is on the right. 

detail from Hickory, Dickory, Dock  

There Was a Crooked Man 

Make sure you check out Salley's website, Wee Folk Studio, to see more examples of her incredible artistry. Salley also talks about her inspirations and the design process to create these marvelous works of art.  You can also see if she'll have a traveling exhibit near you.  I think you'll enjoy your incredible work as much as I do.

Please excuse the way the type font size changes in this blog post.  Blogspot is doing its own thing today....so frustrating!


llknbillburg said...

Very cool!! Laura

Margaret said...

WOW! Her work is marvelous! I have to find that book now. Off to check her website. Thanks for sharing your pics with us!

Cari said...

Oh my gosh Ellen…thanks for sharing. Sally's work is amazing. I'm going to have to get this book as well. I'm just a big kid too !!

Annette-California said...

Thank you so much for sharing all these beautiful photos! I actually have checked out one of her books from the library. But how incredible that you got to see her works of art in person. I love all her needlework. What a treat you shared with us. love Annette

Sandra said...

What incredible work Ellen, I wonder if she does it all herself? I'll have to check her website when I have a bit more time. Some of the rhymes are not known to me or are known by different names/spellings.

Marilyn said...

Oh, these are so amazing.
Thanks for sharing them Ellen.
It was fun guessing the names of them.

Barb said...

Wonderful illustrations. My daughter went to a workshop put on by Sally. Laurie said she was very nice.

Bethany said...


Thank you for sharing all these wonderful works of art. Sally is an exceptional artist and I will look for her book of nursery rhymes to share with the children I baby sit.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Gorgeous work. I am definitely looking at her website!

The one you guessed was Pease Porridge is actually a poem which goes like this:
I eat my peas with honey,
I've done it all my life,
They may taste rather funny,
But it keeps them on the knife!

Hickory Dickory also shows Old Mother Hubbard and her bare cupboard.

The one with the old man might be One Misty Moisty Morning, I met an old man clothed all in leather?

I had such fun guessing!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

If you like Sally's work then you may like Clare Beaton too. Her pictures are not so intricate but still lovely books with great read-aloud rhymes.