Sunday, January 10, 2010

Buttons and more Buttons

Paper Buttons!! How wonderful! I've been planning to construct a Button Book for some years now but never quite satisfied with what I had sketched out. Of course I love buttons, doesn't everyone? But how best to make an artist's book on the subject?

I found a small punch for paper buttons then a larger one and couldn't stop making them. I brought the first few (smaller ones) to the Dard Hunter Paper Conference in Atlanta last October along with sea grass paper from my new Moon Tide Paper Studio and found the attendees were almost more interested in the buttons. I'm going to make bags of them for the next conference. I tested all my paper and found that the banana skin and corn husk papers were best especially if dipped in wax. So my button book will be of paper and wax. I finally feel I have the right idea for this little passion of mine.

So cute I could just about eat them.

I've always been drawn to buttons and never quite realized how much - until I packed up the house last year for my big move from New York to South Carolina. I had jars of buttons, bags and boxes of buttons and a bowl of white shell, bone and glass buttons.

I found buttons all over the place... could never pass a notions department or button shop. I spent many years on Long Island digging in old dumps for bottles and found the most fantastic things along with bottles dating back to the 1850's. One of those small little extras were bone and glass and shell buttons, many in this bowl pictured above. I found metal buttons, a little rusty but fun. I have horn buttons, coconut shell buttons and bakelite buttons, cloth buttons, fur and leather buttons, rhinestone buttons and knotted buttons and clay buttons but until now NEVER a paper button... Are there other closet button people out there? Truly did not know I was collecting them until I had to gather them in one place. Wow... but fun.

I have to finish my copy of "In The Trenches" about Hart Island one of an edition of three in collaboration with Pat Sahertian. Pat's copy is finished, our joint edition done and on YouTube but mine still needs more work. Our primary goal for the next few months is to promote the book and find some book art shows to exhibit them. Then I can have fun with the buttons !

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Mary - your blog popped up on my Google Alert for Dard Hunter this a.m. And when I saw "BUTTONS," I knew immediately that it was your blog! So glad to have the link and will put it on the desktop to visit from time to time... Have to keep up with those buttons of yours! I still have my few samples - I keep them in the name tag holder from the conference! I love the seagrass papers! I also bought 3 of your "orb" papers for fun and enjoy fondling them when I am in my favourite papers. Keep up the good work - I LOVE THE BUTTONS!!! Shirah Miriam "Mimi" Aumann