As a child I remember the delights of squirrelling through my Grandma’s ‘Button Tin’, which back then seemed to hold a vast collection of brightly coloured buttons, many with beautiful patterns or shapes.
The ‘Button Tin’ seems to be a thing of the past now, but I still find buttons that make me smile, whether due to their colour, or their exquisite patterns and the French Brocante Markets are a great place to look for them.
At Villeneuve-Les-Avignon, every Saturday morning, there is a lady selling buttons and old textiles and whenever I go I always find myself spending ages sorting through what she has & admiring the different pieces she has available.
For a long time I shied away from buying them as they are not silver & so I would find it difficult to use them in my work. Then I thought about using them to texture Fine Silver so bought a couple to have a play with.
The buttons worked well as a stamp for the Clay before it is fired to create Fine Silver earrings, effectively recreating the beautiful patterns into the silver.
I have since gone on to use the same technique with other items I’ve found at the markets in France including tiny Chandelier ‘Marguerites’, which make a fantastic light-catching pattern……..
and vintage charms including a cyclist, which became a tie-pin and also a set of cufflinks……
I must admit I am really fond of a French Glass button, depicting a Wild Boar on the charge, which has been used to add detail to a tie-pin too……..
It is lovely being able to use the detail in these vintage finds to create new pieces of jewellery that look just a little bit different, with a touch of French style.
A number of the designs are currently available on pieces in my shop and I’m looking forward to getting back to the Markets in the New Year to see what else I can find.