Wednesday, June 17, 2009

First look, first touch, or a feeling?

I ask myself...where does it all begin...

An obsession, a compulsion, a collection, an interest? Is it the first look, or the first touch, or a feeling you get? Is it something in the air, or on the wind?

Will someone call Dr. Phil, here's my latest.

I have a huge admiration for vintage antique buttons from pre 1900. The more I read the more fascinated I become.

Ah, the lure and lore of buttons.

Quote: Victorian picture buttons
By Kathleen Vocelle

"Pictures of every imaginable subject have traditionally appeared on buttons made of many materials. Metal picture buttons for women's and children's clothing reached the height of popularity during the Victorian age, around 1880, and retained their popularity right through the Edwardian era.

The enormous number of subjects shown on picture buttons reflects, in part, the new popular awareness of art and literature in the late 19th century. New plays, operas, novels, poems, and paintings challenged the die-makers to create new button designs. People showed their approval for a new work of art by wearing buttons derived from it on a shirtwaist, coat, or cloak.

Themes from storybooks and nursery rhymes were very popular and highlighted the late Victorian devotion to the child.Designs that illustrate a drama, fable, or nursery rhyme are called story buttons and are named for the work depicted. The Victorian fascination with natural history accounts for the vast number of buttons featuring birds, insects, and other animals, as well as flowers and other plant life." (End quote.)

Article in entirety found,

The more I see of the creations that people make from these heirloom treasures, the deeper my interest grows. I am fortunate enough to be the proud owner of two such button art pieces, and I was able to chat with their creator Katy of Jewel Fire Designs.

The buttons used in my beautiful lovelies come from England!

Katy said, "I have a friend who lives in England and she goes to the street stalls and looks for interesting buttons for me. I think both of the ones you picked are from there. I also am always on the lookout for fun buttons. What is interesting sometimes I come across the same button in the US as my friend sent me from England.

My love of old buttons comes from my Grandmother as she had a huge collection of buttons that were just saved buttons from clothing and such that was started by her Mother so they go back to the 1800's. Anyway when she passed away I got the buttons and I still dig in them for projects 25 years later."

Wow. What a treasure to have passed down to the girls in your family. The stories those buttons would tell are of times of a gentler age, where people took pride and delight in life and showed it right down to the buttons on their clothing.

I was so struck by the detailed beading she used to frame these, and asked Katy what was the technique used, did it have a special name? she replied: The beading around the buttons is just called bead weaving and it's several techniques I have learned over the years. One of the fun things I love to do is when someone brings me a special button and asks me to make it into a brooch. It's amazing how many people have buttons from grandma that are special because so many of us played with their button box when we were little :o)

I love to use scarves in the winter time for warmth at the neck, so I do have a plan and a purpose for my latest little divinities, it's not just my latest thing. I'm lucky, it's not winter yet, and I can be the recipient of their charm as I go back to the jewelry box for another look.

I think these humble buttons deserve this attention as a piece of our collective past to be remembered. Many thanks to Katy for her creations.

All of the vintage button creations used in this article are from: . Katy gives some interesting background with each of them, she has a very fun shop with lots of other lovelies.


Judy's Vintage Collections said...

Howdy, from the heart of Texas...
I do call mine a collection! What a great post!...and what eye candy! I will have to take pictures of some of my buttons but nothing like these...I do have a great interest in the antique buttons.....and I know some ladies that really do need help! LOL!
PS: no box in the mail today :(
maybe tomorrow... :)

Diane ~ said...

Loved this posting Nora! & love your blog too!! :)


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