About Button Jewels

When I purchased a large box of antique buttons in the late 1990s, I was amazed at their beauty and craftsmanship, each truly a work of art, and so I began my adventure into the intriguing world of antique buttons.
The feminine and elegant appearance of Victorian jewelry, combined with these fabulous hand-crafted antique buttons, inspire my unique pieces of jewelry. Using vintage and new beads, I weave these wonderful miniatures into wearable art, mindful to preserve the integrity of each and every button.
Collectors have been tucking away these button treasures for years. I now travel all over the country "treasure hunting", always seeking more exquisite antique buttons to use in my jewelry. The button search has become an adventure, an adventure that culminates in the creation of unique, wearable art pieces. In the 18th century, buttons truly were a work of art. Button making became a profitable sideline for many of the artists of the day. Between portraits, painters painted buttons, potters made ceramic buttons, silversmiths engraved silver buttons, and weavers wove fine buttons of multi-colored silk. France was unrivaled for the artistry and opulence of its buttons, whereas England showed its native mechanical aptitude with a flourishing button industry of its own. French buttons often displayed scenes of romance or the arts. England produced buttons made of horn, shell, porcelain and dazzling steel buttons. Inventive in stamping, molding, and casting, English button makers pioneered techniques that allowed mass production of buttons, and made them accessible to almost everyone. During the 19th century, other types of buttons appeared for the first time: glass, clear or deeply colored, molded with wonderful designs; vulcanized rubber, created by Charles Goodyear; and carved corozo nut, commonly called vegetable ivory. An American billiard ball manufacturer offered a reward to anyone who could create a synthetic substitute for ivory, thus, celluloid was invented. Unfortunately for the billiard crowd, the billiard balls were combustible; however, this material was used in button making for close to 60 years, spanning many changes in styles. Around the mid 1800s women began to use buttons on their garments, whereas up to this time, most buttons were made for and worn by men. Queen Victoria’s mourning dresses were made with carved jet buttons that her subjects and others around the world took to imitating with black glass buttons, which became the most widespread buttons of the 19th Century. French enamels, Victorian celluloid, carved mother of pearl, and Japanese hand-painted ceramic, are just a few of the types of buttons that I use in my work. I weave these wonderful buttons into wearable art by using vintage and new beads, allowing me to preserve the integrity of the buttons. Please take a look at my gallery and enjoy the new life these wonderful buttons now have.

  To purchase any piece in the gallery, please contact me. All of the pieces in the gallery feature unique antique buttons, collected from around the world. Since each design is custom made, they are one-of-a-kind pieces. If you see a design that you like, you may wish to purchase it while it is still available.

victorian era button bracelet - marchesa style