Funded in part  by the Iowa  Arts Council, a  division of the  Iowa Department of Cultural  Affairs  and th
National Endowment for  the Arts


American Alliance of Museums


Home > Exhibitions > Salley Mavor - "Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes"

Salley Mavor - "Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes"

April 23, 2011 - June 19, 2011

Salley Mavor -

Salley Mavor returns with her newest illustrations for her book, Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes, an exhibition of Mavor's fabric relief artwork.  This  includes 51 original illustrations from Pocketful of Posies,  As always you will be amazed by the fine detail of her work. 

"I have always liked forming and manipulating small materials with my hands.  Paper and pencil were never enough for me.  Somehow, in my experience as a child, my own art was unfinished and plain unless something “real” was added.  Treasures would be glued, stapled or sewn onto a creation to make it complete."
It took 10 years to develop my fabric relief technique to a level where I could consider illustrating a book.  My first picture book, The Way Home, was made during a 1-½ year period when my children were very young.  After my boys were asleep in the evening, I would sew the elephant characters and methodically embroider blades of grass. 



 To make a book, each picture starts as a clear, vivid scene in my head.  I do not know exactly how the pictures will unfold and it will go through many steps to get from the imagined to the finished product.  I start by working out a rough layout in small thumbnail sketches. They are blown up on a copier to full book size and made into a dummy to show the editor.  She then checks to see that the content of the layout works with the text and that there is enough room for the type.  After making any necessary changes to the layout, and with the trust of my editor, I start work on the fabric relief pictures.  
Each illustration requires about a month of hand sewing, so it takes more than a year to complete all of the pages.  The original fabric relief pictures are then photographed and used as illustrations in the printed book. 

"Salley Mavor's hand-stitched illustrations are finely detailed works of art.
I've been a fan of her picture books, but her style of illustration works
even better in these new board books." Lisa Dugan of Koen Kids (Book Distributor)

In conjunction with the exhibition "Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes" Salley will present a workshop.  You can learn how to create a "Wee Folk" of your own.  "Wee Folk" are the dollhouse size people Salley creates to illustrate the children's books.  This event will be in the studio of the Muscatine Art Center Saturday, May 21, 2011 from 10:00-5:00.  There will be a registration fee of $25.00 for this class and the class size is limited.  Experienced sewers only please.  Please call 563.263.8282 for more details.

Then on Sunday May 22, 2011 join Salley for a Gallery Talk in the Stanley Gallery at 2:00.  This event is free and open to the public. 

 All images are courtesy Salley Mavor.