In late August I read about the Idaho Button Society having a conference in June 2019 near where I live. I tried to contact someone in charge to see I could do a presentation on my painted buttons.. It turned out the person in charge was Simone who invited me to speak last week at their local club meeting.
All went well and she wanted to come to my house to get more material for an article for that same conference. She was able to find out all the history behind my button painting - where, how, etc. and I dragged out lots of work for her to see.
But I also learned a lot from her as well during that visit. First she makes these delightful button "boards" that match vintages images with vintage buttons. This one has a Union Pacific poster surrounded by metal Union Pacific buttons. She had done the same with postman, firemen, policemen, etc. Both the images and the buttons were fascinating bits of Americana. I'm looking forward to seeing more of these in the future...
She was able to look at my trays of buttons and tell me how to tell which were ocean mother-of-pearl, fresh water mother-of-pearl, and green snail ocean mother-of-pearl, etc.. Something I should have known after all these years of working with mother-of-pearl buttons.
She had written a book on vintage black glass buttons. Photographing or scanning anything black is a challenge and she had lots of tips and tricks that I will be able to use making images of my buttons. She brought her own scanner but it turned out to be the same brand as the one I use...an Epson.
But the best thing I learned from her was one word..... I'm always telling people I love to paint on vintage mother-of-pearl because it has an inner light and glow. It gives life to my little pieces of art like no other surface. It turns out there is actually a name for this phenomenon - "chatoyance" A word often used to describe qualities of certain gemstones that have a glow just beneath the surface that shifts and reflects light. This inner glow is specific to ocean mother-of-pearl.. and not found at all in fresh water mother-of-pearl. This quality also makes them a challenge to photograph so I will be trying some of Simone's tips... All in all a very fun, informative day with a lovely new friend...
And last night I was so tired I was ready to go to bed only to find it was 7:30... If I went to bed that early I would wake up about 2am so I decided to clean and sort a bit more in my work room and lo and behold I found the missing silk ribbon flowers... Hooray!!!