Wednesday, April 29, 2009

buttoned up

i have a bit of an obsession with vintage buttons, and am constantly scouring antique stores, flea markets and yard sales searching for new additions to my collection. i justify this obsession because i use them in my jewelry designs, but that is not my real motivation. in fact i would be content to just sit for hours (and i often do) just looking at and sorting said buttons, thinking about their past owners and what their lives may have been like.
vintage buttons are not just lovely to look at, but they have a deeply personal quality. who were the people who owned these buttons? what was their life like? what memories do these tiny bits of glass, shell, and metal hold? weddings, first dates, funerals, a new dress for easter, grandmother's sewing room. each one is like a single word, a fragment of a history, part of a story. a glass jar containing shards of memories, not quite lost.

a quick search on Etsy led me to some beautiful designs made with vintage buttons.

1. clover ring: IdleHandsDesigns 2. back side of clover ring: IdleHandsDesigns 3. buttons on wire: lorelei1141 4. earrings with 3 buttons: QuenchMetalWorks 5. lattice bracelet: PreciousMeshes 6. mirror flower charm: CleverEndeavor 7. midnight flower necklace: KiraFerrer 8. cuff with vintage buttons: NinaGibsonDesigns 9. calico button ring: PetalMetal