Pocketful of Posies, a traveling exhibit on the works of nationally known Salley Mavor, arrived at the Foothills Arts Council on Friday.
The exhibit will be held in its gallery from through Feb. 22.
Pocketful of Posies, A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes is a 72-page, full-color, hardcover edition, illustrated in fabric relief by Mavor and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Pocketful of Posies has won the 2011 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Picture Book and the Golden Kite Award for picture book illustration from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
According to the arts council, Salley Mavor’s work is decorative and detailed, full of patterns and creative 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.
“I think it’s cute,” said Elkin resident Julie Newmark who was at opening night with her grandmother visiting from Hungary. “I like how she uses an earthy concept.”
Paul McCauley, a retired Methodist minister of State Road was a first-time visitor to the Foothills Arts Council. “This is fascinating,” he said. “The skills she’s been able to take out and incorporate in the background are so amazing.”
“I’m interested in what she does with the wool colors and wonder if she dye’s them herself,” asked Martha Smith, a local art enthusiast.
Others stated that the stitching looked like near perfection, almost what a machine would do.
“I am pleased that it was so well attended, even though I couldn’t be there,” a jubilee Mavor informed The Tribune. “Yes, everything is stitched by hand,” dispelling any doubt.
When asked why she doesn’t use a sewing machine, Mavor responded, “Throughout history, up until the sewing machine was introduced, people did the most intricate, beautiful needlework…my devotion to the process and a desire to create and manipulate objects and materials in my hands…I can’t achieve the result I want with a machine, which looks automated and flat to me.”
The colors for each illustration are made with natural plant dyes on wool felt, according to Mavor.
Ms Mavor spent 3 years hand-stitching the illustrations, combining needlework, wool felt and incorporated objects from nature such as acorn caps, shells and driftwood.
Mavor works in her home studio on Cape Cod, in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Teachers are encouraged to arrange field trips to visit during school hours, noted the Foothills Art Council. A scavenger hunt will be available for the students to make the exhibit even more interactive. Officials are scheduling classes in one-hour time slots.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez by calling 835-1513 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.