I thought myself well beyond the point of self-discovery when two chance encounters pushed an artistic button I never knew I had. Having spent my career as a journalist and author, I considered writing to be my creative expression. While I admired and even envied friends who painted and dabbled in pottery and strung beautiful beaded necklaces, none of that interested me. I did not see myself as a maker of art. While I’ve always had a flair for fashion and a sense of style—did that qualify as artistic talent?
Then I was invited to a preview of an exhibit honoring designer Patrick Kelly, renowned for his decorative use of buttons. That gave me the idea of restyling some of my old jackets by sewing buttons on the collars and plackets. Shortly after that I visited a dear cousin in Mexico who’s been collecting vintage buttons for 30 years and actually calls herself The Button Lady. As she was showing me a variety of her favorites, my hands began assembling them into pins and earrings. To my amazement, I was hooked! I returned home with an assortment of her wonderful buttons and started feverishly making my own special art.
Most of my buttons qualify as vintage. Materials I use include Bakelite, celluloid, mother of pearl, abalone, brass, wood, metal, glass, bone, plastic, even ceramic buttons from Vietnam. The pins can be worn alone or grouped together on a lapel or collar or even down the sleeve of a little black dress. My husband loves the attention he gets sporting one of my pins on his jacket lapel.
Life is full of unexpected surprises. Buttons were mine. I hope you enjoy wearing my creations—and may you find something that pushes your button, whatever that is.