Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Dorset Buttons

 Barbara Schey
16-17 July 2015

In response to queries at the recent Glebe Island Craft & Quilt Fair, Barbara is offering a 2 day workshop in thread button making at her home in Thornleigh.  
Times are 9.30am (or so) until 4pm
Cost: $85 per day, including all materials. 
Students only need to bring their lunch.  
Numbers limited to 4 students.

Barbara has been researching Dorset and other thread buttons for 30 years and has directly contributed to the revival of the instructions for a “lost” button from Yorkshire.  She is passionate about keeping this craft alive.

Last year, Barbara presented a paper on her button research at the International Shibori Symposium in Hangzhou, China at the National Silk Museum- which attracted a lot of interest from the Chinese, as well as other international  delegates. Consequently, this has prompted Barbara to further investigation into the Chinese Buttons.

The buttons can be included in quilts, surface design, lace work and special decorative effects for bags and clothing.  The buttons can be used to construct ear rings, brooches, pendants etc.  They can even be used as buttons!

This is a low cost,  portable craft which does not require any special equipment. 
If you are interested or more information, please email  Barbara: 
Deposit of $20 required, balance on the day.

Poppy Brooch, made in response to the Anzac Challenge.  The centre is a traditional Singleton button and the "petals" are variations on traditional Crosswheel buttons, both designs originated in the Dorset area.

This brooch is an assemblage of traditional Crosswheel and Singleton Buttons with a button in the centre called a Deathshead Button.  No one quite seems to know how this button got its name but it was used extensively on gentlemen's riding jackets both on the continent and the north of England, especially around Yorkshire which had a big thread button making industry. There are many variations of this button which is made over a wooden mold.

This little pendant is assembled from a Deathshead button at the top, a Singleton in the middle and Birdseye Button from Dorset at the lower edge. Birdseye buttons were specifically created for baby wear as they are filled with cloth so there is no metal or hard substance involved to make the baby
uncomfortable.  One often sees Birdseyes as part of Honiton lace.  Many of the original button designs came from the continent and Huguenot Lace makers.  There is so much interesting social history connected to the button making.

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