Capturing The Essence Of A Subject In Buttons

3D TEXTILES - CAPTURING THE ESSENCE OF A SUBJECT CAPTURED IN BUTTONS

 

EXPLORING 3D TEXTILES - CAPTURING THE ESSENCE OF A SUBJECT IN BUTTONS

Buttons. I love them! I collected them as a child. My Mother used them in her dressmaking. They are little jewels to be treasured. They come in such a wide range of colour, size, shape, pattern and texture. They can be flat, 3D, matte, shiny, mass produced, bespoke, modern and vintage. I use them to build colour, create depth, add light and contouring to flat surfaces. I express emotion through carefully considered buttons. Explore with me the diversity of a simple and functional object.

CAPTURING THE ESSENCE OF A SUBJECT IN BUTTONS

Shining eyes capture a spirit of children at play in ‘Old Ted’. And a plush velvet nose, soft and fragile, nods to a deep maternal instinct to nurture and protect.

Capturing the essence of children at play
A spirit of children at play

An elaborate jewel celebrates a life lived in ‘Reducing Us To Simply A Heartbeat’.

Expressing womanhood through an elaborate jewel
Capturing the essence of woman in an elaborate jewel

ESTABLISHING A TIMELINE WITH VINTAGE BUTTONS

Collecting over a period of time and from a range of sources (car boot sales and charity shops are great for vintage treasures) is essential in establishing a timeline within your collection. The natural ageing process softens leather and suede, a maturity capturing the essence of an older generation.

Establishing a timeline using vintage buttons
Vintage leather and suede buttons adorn panels in ‘Old Ted’

Natural wear and tear produces a rich narrative using vintage buttons.

Old buttons provide a rich narrative
A scuffed button effectively captures the erosion of a shoreline in ‘Button Beach’

BUILDING A COLOUR PALETTE

The more diverse your collection of buttons the greater your ability to achieve depth within a colour palette. Subtle variations in colour, tone, age and pattern creates a natural density.

See Also
3D TEXTILES - HOLLOW STRUCTURES AND SURFACE CONTOURING

Diversity within the colour palette
A warm colour palette of golden hues in ‘Three Ages of Beach’

3D TEXTILES – CREATING TEXTURAL DEPTH  

Depth is achieved by overlapping edges and layering flat buttons to produce a textural contouring, creating an upper level to the flat background.

Creating textural depth in layering buttons
Layering creates a raised surface in ‘Jesus 1’

Variation within scale adds a dramatic quality to a design, creating a rich textural depth.

Varying scale creates dramatic impact and textural depth
A rich textural depth in ‘Abstract Flower Design E’

I adore buttons and will continue to collect and use them in my work. For more examples, visit The Natural Collection and The Womanhood Collection by CHRISTINE CUNNINGHAM 

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