Button Making Workshop, 10-12:30, $37
You found the perfect artisanal yarn or other great fiber product. You spent time fashioning it into a marvelous hand-made item. Now it’s time to take the next step and add your very own hand-made buttons as closures or embellishments!
In this workshop you (yes, you!) will create your own fine silver buttons. We’ll use a relatively new technique involving reclaimed metals in a finely powdered form. They come mixed with an organic binder and water to yield a substance that feels almost like a silky-soft clay. You will roll this over a textured surface to impress a design. We’ll have pastry cutters and decorative scissors you can use to cut the outlines of your buttons, and you’ll learn how to smooth out the edges, add the necessary holes, and finish the surface so it will have a beautiful shine.
We’ll finish by 12:30; your instructor will then fire all the students’ buttons in a small electric kiln to remove the binder, until only the silver remains. The buttons may also be tumbled to a bright and shiny finish. You’ll be able to pick them up at the end of the day. (If you prefer, you may arrange a time to come pick them up another day, or request that your creations be mailed to you.)
Demonstrations will cover several designs about one inch across. Participants following that lead should be able to complete three fine silver buttons in the class. (Adjust the count up or down a bit if you prefer a different size.) For those who work fast and have enough interest in making more, additional packets of the silver material will be available for you to purchase to make extras.
And there’s no need to limit yourself to buttons! With just minor adjustments in the size and placement of the holes in your pieces, you can end up with bracelet charms, pendants, or earrings. The instructor’s sample buttons will be available for purchase at the end of the session. Class participants will have first choice, then they’ll be offered to others attending the Indie Knit & Spin event.
The instructor will have all the tools necessary. Participants don’t need to bring anything but their interest and enthusiasm.
The silver material, project handouts, and various consumables we will use are included in the materials fee. The exact materials fee will depend on how many buttons of what size you choose to make; experience has shown that to likely be around $35 per person.
Carol Scheftic is a certified metal clay artisan and an accredited metal clay teacher. She was born in Indiana and raised in Florida. After stints in several other locales, she moved from California to Pittsburgh. She has been here creating and teaching this process since 2006. She is a founding member of the Western PA Metal Clay Guild, and a member of both the Cranberry Artists Network and the Pittsburgh Society of Artists.
Her art jewelry pieces are available in galleries in western Pennsylvania and New York, and at open house events (four per year) in her studio. They have also been available at the Three Rivers Arts Festival in the gallery booths of Koolkat Designs and the Artsmiths of Pittsburgh.
She works out of a studio in the Wilkins School Community Center building in Swissvale, PA, where she regularly teaches private and semi-private lessons; she also teaches small group lessons at a variety of regional bead shops and galleries.
She is better at crochet than knitting, and loves making hairpin lace in particular. Most of the silver or bronze buttons she has made recently, however, have been used as closures on gemstone-and-leather bracelets. She looks forward to sparking your creativity in making these buttons, and to having you spark hers as you discuss the various ways you may use your lovely creations.