Salley Mavor

I have had a life-long fascination with little things and needlework. At the Rhode Island School of Design, I rediscovered my childhood delight in sewing and creating miniature scenes. Manipulating materials in my hands with a needle and thread was so much more satisfying than rendering with a pencil or brush. I found that I could communicate my ideas more clearly and that my hands would direct me in a compelling way. Finding no descriptive term for what I was making, I named my technique Fabric Relief 35 years ago.
Today, I sew different materials together to create fanciful scenes in relief, much like miniature, shallow stage sets, with figures imposed on embellished fabric backgrounds. My work is decorative and detailed, full of patterns from nature and found objects, all sewn together by hand with a needle and thread. The original fabric relief sculptures have been photographed and used to illustrate 10 children’s books, including the award-winning Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. I work in my home studio on Cape Cod, in Falmouth, Massachusetts.