My daughter Cherry and I always had fun with fairies. I’d tell her fairy stories just to keep her going on our walks, and we loved to make fairies from the book Felt Wee Folk by Salley Mavor.
I grew up making dolls. Since my mother was a portrait painter, it kinda was natural for her to teach us how to make the faces on the dolls. I think my favorite part was making the clothes, I loved all those tiny details.
I kept making my dolls through college, and I remember my roommate coming into the dorm room with her friends and snickering at my dolls on the shelf by my bed. I didn’t care. I just found a new roommate as soon as I could.
In college my professors often told me that my work had no statement. It wasn’t big. It wasn’t angry. So it wasn’t really art. I needed to find my message.
Well, I thought, my message was all about happy little people and flowers and all that sort of thing. I guess that’s why I felt most at home in my weaving class, no one was telling me to grow up there. I could just be me.
I think it was the late 80’s when I first read an article about Salley Mavor. She was just about to publish her first book, illustrated with embroidery and tiny sculptured dolls. Her detailed work was so sweet and beautiful. I kinda felt a kinship to her because she made needlework and doll sculpture her form of art in college, too.
When I found Felt Wee Folk, I realized it was written by the same artist I had admired so many years before. She’s written a few more books too, just click the images to see them on Amazon.
If you’re here, you probably like to make pretty little things too.
But just because we like to make pretty little things doesn’t mean we don’t care about the wrongs in our world.
Us nice people have to speak up, and Sally is creating some pretty funny stuff about some pretty not-so-funny stuff. Like Trump. And his entourage.
Here’s some more of her work that I love.
So, thank you, Salley for showing the world that us artists who like to make pretty things also have brains that don’t like to be messed with.
And yes, we do have something to say.
And thank you, Salley for the fun my daughter and I had together making all those tiny dolls.
We had a little craft box just for our fairies, so we could make them wherever we went.
I’d paint the faces on wooden beads and get the body all ready, then Cherry would make her own clothes.
I was making glass beads back then, so I tried out the techniques we learned on a beaded fairy.
Here’s a little clip of me making a glass fairy bead. Cherry’s at the end being a little cutie-pie.