* 2016 AZ State Button Convention

So many wonderful buttons at this year’s 2016 button convention held in Avondale Arizona in February 2016. The event is hosted by the Arizona State Button Society and the theme this year was presidents. You wouldn’t know by looking at the photo of everyone sitting around the tables digging through boxes of buttons, but this is my happy place. I love it. I am photographed with Janelle Giles from Button Central. She gave me this wonderful steam punk button as well as the other two. She has been in the button community for over 40 years and has wonderful advice and expertise that she shares with me.

I enjoyed a class all about Vanity Buttons.  We expect to know them as the buttons on couture clothing like Coco Chanel but they’re also found on men’s sports coats by Johnny Carson or buy products such as Avon, JC Penney’s, Care Bears or Izod. The list keeps growing. I ordered this Vanity Buttons book from Amazon and the author signed it for me.

I had never seen handkerchief buttons before. Those are the metal buttons with the corners folded over the edges. This collection is from Gary Brockman and the prices range between $300 to $1100. Once Upon A Button gave me this definition of them. They are called Handkerchief buttons because of the construction. The edges that fold over from the back are called “handkerchief corners.” They are actually “Picture Buttons” with “handkerchief corners.” Here’s an exact definition from The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Buttons by Sally Luscomb, c1992, page 94: “Handkerchief Corners. A name given nineteenth-century metal picture buttons that were cut square and had the corners bent over the front. Sometimes one square of metal was placed diagonally on a second square piece so that there were eight corners to bend over the front. Handkerchief Corners are sometimes called ‘Turned Corners.’ Frequently, the corners have nails or screw heads on them, and usually there is an applied design in the center of the buttons, which are of fine quality.”

The large buttons with the gemstone centerpieces are called Gay Nineties. They were from around the å1890’s, the Oscar Wilde era.

The last few pictures are all of the buttons that I collected at the show. Some I will keep and some I will incorporate into my jewelry pieces.

I’m already looking forward to going to next years show again.

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About Ruby Mae Jewelry

I'm Leah Williams and I adore fabulous buttons and brooches, chains and charms. I find it exciting to look into old tin cans passed down through the generations. They hold buttons and hardware removed from all types of garments. I reuse old buttons and it connects me to men and women that I'll never get to meet. I leave the original thread on a button. I'm inspired to create something new from something that was forgotten. I love, love, love it.