by Sherri Stokey
I often use buttons in my jewelry. In pieces like this multiple strand macrame necklace, the button (by Shelley Graham Turner) functions as both a closure and focal piece. If you're putting this much emphasis on a button, you want it to be fabulous! Handmade buttons like the ones below can add that special touch.
|Porcelain sun button: Joan Miller, Two hole ceramic flower and owl buttons: Beadfreaky, |
Single hole ceramics: Marsha Neal, Metal clay butterfly button: Lesley Watt,
Glass flowers: Jodie Marshall, Two hole glass buttons: Chris Haussler
If you don't happen to have a stash of art buttons on hand, don't despair! You can do some enhancement and you don't have to be crazy talented. Really! Break out your paints or patinas or gilders paste - whatever you have on hand - and get busy.
See that plain button in my hand? It's covered in a very bland fabric. I found a couple of them. Very ho-hum. I took some stamps and paint and added color and design in just a couple of minutes.
The fabric buttons are the two larger ones in the back The others are some metal buttons I found that had great shapes and textures but no color. A little Vintaj patina took care of that. It actually took me longer to find my patinas than it did to do either of these little projects.
If you're a little more adventurous, you might try some of the different paint products out there. I had a ball playing with iron paint and rust activator. Just look how this plain plastic button is transformed:
Yes, I rusted the die, too. I actually rusted a Barrel O' Monkeys monkey and all sorts of other stuff because it was just so darned much fun to play with, but I digress.
I have one more super easy trick for you, if you want to make your own buttons: glue on shanks.
These super handy little guys are just the ticket for turning almost any small item with a flat back into a button. Wouldn't a sea glass button be nice? Or one of the cabochons you have laying around? Use a good adhesive like E6000 and go crazy!
My point in all of this is that you don't have to settle for boring run-of-the-mill buttons; in fact, you shouldn't settle.
In jewelry design, the difference between a so-so piece and a spectacular piece can be just one or two little details. Details like that special button, whether you get it from an artist or make your own.