Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Buttons & Fabrics



My mother and grandmother were both seamstresses. To keep me quiet while they were working, they used to give me the button box. They let me sort the buttons according to colour, size, material, etc. They let me string them on threads to make necklaces and bracelets. So from the very beginning I have been occupied with buttons and their decorative character. I am still much more intrigued by the decorative part of the button than by its functional character. So I call my botton work "button art", because I arrange them in a artistic and decorative way, not in a functional way.

Both variation and repetition play a role in my art. The variation that I encounter while collecting my buttons is enormous; variation in colour, form, size and material. Arranging the butons in such a way that the variation becomes clear and visible in an interesting pattern is one of the ways I work. On the other hand, also the tiniest plain and simple shirt-button can become a work of art when it is arranged in a multi-repetition of vary many identical objects. That's the other thing I am working on.


The "pointe" is that such a bunch of decorative buttons thrown together in a non-functional way suddenly becomes a funcional "whole": a necklace, a cuff, a ring, etc. That is what keeps my inspiration going; I started making necklaces and bracelets out of my buttons, and now pins, rings, and cuffs have been added. And I am working on plans for belts, shoulderpieces, skirts, etc. The possibilities are endless !

As I said before, my mother and grandmother were seamstresses. But they never had the patience to teach me how to sew. As a poor student I still wanted to wear beautiful and special clothes; so I bought a 2nd-hand "how to sew" book and started to make simple hippy clothes for myself, using my grandmother's old handsewing machine. After many years of serious professional life with no time for sewing at all, I have now started sewing again, this time with th super electronic sewing machine that I inherited from my mother. Because I have always been very impressed by the bags and hats that my grandmother and mother were making and wearing, I thought it would be great to be able to make those too. I started with simple flat bags, but got really excited about getting them three dimensional. The architectonical construction of the 3D form, and the challenge to make it stand up all on its own, are still very intriguing processes for me. Especially when I found out that a hat is in fact a bag with the bottom on top. Many bags and hats have the same basic 3D construction, you only have to turn them upside down to give them the other function. Thus in my sewing work I am inspired by the constructional and architectonical part, but I have increasingly added a decorative element to it by means of my buttons. In that way I can combine my button art with my sewing aspirations.

13 comments:

Ira said...

kraplap, your incy wincy spider is very cute:)

emma said...

great! :)

i like the first photo!

Heli said...

This is the most facinating story about buttons and hats and bags!!! Love the way things just 'roll on' when you have a creative mind!

Continue your amazing button path :)

Heli

(p.s I'll add you to my etsy friend list on my blog. Want to read more about your findings :)

Morrgan said...

What a nice story! It's very interesting to hear the background to your creations. :) Good luck with your new blog!

kraplap said...

Thanks all for reading my blog and for your nice comments !

Apol said...

Very well-told, kraplap! And I never knew that a bag is a hat is a bag :)

Apol said...

Okay, apol is lapomme from etsy :) This photo is embarrassing me, I'm going to remove it now!

Heli said...

Hi Kraplap!

I just tagged you on my blog!
If you want please join the play :)
heli

Marc said...

kraplap, i loved reading about you and your story!!!

Marc said...

Marc (in the previous post) is actually Karlita from karlitashop.blogspot.com - i didn't know i was logged in as my husband :)

kraplap said...

My first thought was, who is Marc ? Good to know he belongs to you Karlita !

polinka said...

what a great bracelet!!

coco said...

I like the way you use buttons as components - parts of a whole.It is an interesting way to think because you have to see a very small thing as well as the big picture - what happens when a lot of very small things are connected. Thanks for your encouraging comments on my flickr page!
Bye
The "fram"