It all began innocently enough, in a manner similar to those experienced by many self proclaimed 'button junkies'...a tin of old buttons. Purchased at an auction years ago,
I rifled through it and found something that brought back memories. Memories of my visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. There is (or at least used to be) an exhibit there that the visions of will never elude me. Somehow a seemingly very simple idea made an incredible impact on me. The image of a room with a floor heavily masked by shoes seared itself permanently into my memory. Shoes that each represented a life now lost... every single shoe...
In that tin of old buttons was a shoe button; one tiny black shoe button. That is where my journey into the realm of buttons began. I had no idea what in the world I was in for. I started looking around the internet and was flabbergasted, to say the least! People were mounting these things on cardboard and displaying them! There were clubs just for button collectors and they actually had competitions for different categories!
At the time, I would set up at a local flea market on occasion. I would pull all of the buttons out that I found interesting (or were shoe buttons) and take the rest there to sell. (Anyone who collects these miniature works of art will get a real kick out of this next account, and I sincerely hope the lady I had this conversation with will somehow find this little article!) I had a flat of buttons there one day and a lady asked me if I collected. "Yes, but not like one of those people who actually attach them to cardboard and display them." She looked at me funny, and possibly a tiny bit offended, bought the buttons, and went on her way. I would be happy to inform her that I have now joined that club!
I have now made button art and framed it to give as gifts, made jewelry out of them (without harming the buttons), and I have also used ones with broken shanks to decorate other items. In addition, I mount them and sell them, both on acid free board and on vintage bingo game cards (among other things). The photos below are linked to my Zibbet shop, where each item is available for sale at the time of this posting.
I still collect shoe buttons. I have a goal of filling a lamp in my living room with shoe buttons. I know it will take a long time to reach that goal, as they are so tiny, but I know I will get there.
~ Until next time,