Fiber Artist: Sally Savage

Traveling to faraway places can inspire both a fiber artist and a photographer. And some of us are both! The verdant hills of Ireland inspire fiber artist/photographer Sally Savage. She travels there often. I can’t help but think that the paper mache elves and other creatures she creates get a bit of the twinkle in their eyes from leprechauns she’s befriended while traveling. Sally returns to Fiber College this year and it will be such fun to meet the new friends she and her lucky students will bring to life!

Make a Paper Mache Elf with Sally Savage and friends on Friday, September 9 from 3 to 5 PM. This class will explain the basic of paper mache, its variations, and the step-by-step process of how to make one of these elves to take home Due to limited time needed for drying you will paint the elf at home or in the Sunday morning class.

A Creative Spirit with Sally Savage and friends is offered on Sunday, September 11 from 9 to 11 AM. Here’s a great opportunity to paint an elf that Sally’s already created for you OR to paint the elf you made in her Friday class!
Let’s meet Sally and some of the elfin friends she has created. Then you can go to
to learn more about the details of her classes and sign up for one or both.
A sweet paper mache elf

A sweet paper mache elf

As we celebrate the tenth year of our Fiber College community, tell us about how community plays a part in your life as a fiber artist.

As one who spends a lot of time in rural Ireland, I still see a strong community exists there, something that is slipping from us in the US. That is what attracts me so to spending time there. This observation makes me want to come to Fiber College even more since; that same sense of connection exists during the days of Fiber College.


What keeps you coming back to Fiber College? How is FC different from other teaching venues? What’s your favorite thing about Fiber College?

What keeps me coming back to Fiber College is the incredible positive creative energy that permeates the air when I step onto the campgrounds. I have spent time in many art related workshop venues but none touch what I feel at Fiber College.

So many new friends!

So many new friends!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given to a student or another fiber friend?

Best piece of advise I have given? Look to your strengths; we all have them whether it be color sense, design, or technical skills. Use what you have.


What does your studio space look like now? What change would you make if you could?

My studio space is filled with past projects and supplies from all the other workshops I have tried over the past 15 years. Some supplies I have now removed to the basement just in case I find an interest in them again. Very hard to part with “I might need again” art supplies.

Sally is a multimedia maven

Sally is a multimedia maven

How do you ensure plenty of time to be an artist?

I struggle with ensuring plenty of time to do art. I sit here now looking at a piece I am working on and I smile when I see it. Then I wonder, why did I do errands yesterday and not art. It is an on-going battle.

Meet Francise!

Meet Francise!

Who has had the greatest impact on your work as an artist?

The greatest impact on my art was taking classes from a woman 30 years ago who really encouraged me to more or less play, and not be worried that if I made a mistake it was ruined. She urged me to get more creative.

To find my own avenue of mixing materials, I have studied with some of the best artists in the craft world. I found my path combining polymer, paper, wire, wood, and found objects to create these one of a kind sculptures. Each animal or person makes its personality known along the way but I seldom know who they are when I start.

I find myself always adding to “my bag of tricks” as a mixed media artist. There is a great freedom in the art world today to think outside the box. As I ponder my next piece, the challenge is combining materials. My goal is to create an animal or person who really shows emotions and spirit and connects with the viewer in a whimsical manner. I want to make people smile at their less than serious nature.  

How do you imagine your work might change in the next three to five years?

I imagine pushing my work in paper fiber to have more techniques included. I will take another workshop this summer with a well-known artist who has another technique I am curious about. One must keep a curiosity to help push us on to explore and not get too set in our ways.

Sally also shares: Photography is my most recent area of focus. It stems out of my love of horses and Ireland. My exhibition in Co. Kerry in August 2011 has led my path toward a book recording images of the horse fairs. But at the end of each of these journeys in materials every piece reveals its inner strength not unlike ourselves.

Sally has a passion for photographing horses . . . in Ireland!

Sally has a passion for photographing horses . . . in Ireland!

As you can see, Sally is multi-dimensional just like her art!  You can learn more about Sally here:   And then you can go sign up for one or both of her classes at Fiber College right here.

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