Monday, March 1, 2010

Button Class

About two weeks ago I happened to learn that the Colorado State Button Society (CSBS) will be hosting a Button Show in Denver, about 1-1/2 hours drive from me, in April. Part of the show includes a competition, where members prepare button "trays" (cards) according to award specifications.  In preparation for that, the group hosted a Judging and Classification Workshop for buttons this past Saturday.  I haven't joined the CSBS yet, but they graciously allowed me to attend so I could see what it was all about.

What an interesting day it was!  I walked in to the class knowing nothing and no one, but the people in the club were incredibly welcoming and generous.  A very friendly woman named Jane approached me and introduced herself, and then made it her mission to introduce me around to the people I needed to meet.  It turns out there is a Colorado Springs Button Group, which is the nearest town to me, and I was invited to attend their monthly meetings, as well as those in not-so-far-away Castle Rock.

One of the speakers said something I found memorable: "We play with our buttons."  And that was the point, really, of the workshop.  For the April show, there will be 26 competitions, with awards given for button trays that members put together, and they will be judged according to strict specifications.  So we were encouraged to participate in the competition, get out our buttons, and "play with them" -- meaning, handle them, categorize them, rate them, and choose the best representatives to enter.

The workshop was so well done!  After we went over the award specs, we partnered up and had a chance to "judge" sample trays that the organizers had put together; we each had time to look at a few different awards.  My partner, Amy, knew so much about buttons -- she kept throwing out these phrases and terms about button names, and materials, and shanks types, etc. -- and I was so impressed!  Buttons -- and button classifications -- have a language all their own!  I learned so. much.


And, the buttons!  Oh my goodness, even though they were simply sample trays, there were some fantastic buttons on them!  I was in button heaven.


The workshop included lunch, and then the best part of all: a button sale!  Members, many of whom are dealers, brought in their boxes and boxes of buttons to sell.  I was shocked at the sheer quantity and variety of buttons available, especially when I realized these were just the buttons these people wanted to sell, which left me wondering how blown away I would be to see the collections that they are keeping!  Wow.  I really thought I had a pretty cool button collection, but now I know I'm an amateur, and an absolute beginner.

I picked up some wonderful buttons, as well as the bug to join the club and begin learning all about the buttons that I already own.  That knowledge is something I've always longed to possess.

How about you?  Have any of you button floozies out there been a member of the National Button Society, or your local one?

6 comments :

Pretty Things said...

(Jealous drooling commences!) -- but then, you should see my own collection!

Michele's Treasures, Teacups, and Tumbling Rose Cottage said...

Oh, I what a delightful time!! What little treasures! Thank you for sharing this with us.
; )
~Michele

Jingle said...

That sounds like a lot of fun! I didn't even know there WAS such a thing!

Jann said...

I love old buttons! I remember my mother having a "button box" that we girls used to look through and play with when we were little--don't know what happened to it, but I'd love to see it again. I didn't know about the National Button Society--thank you for the info and the beautiful photos.

Angela said...

That sounds like it was right up your alley! I am glad you had such a great time, and you learned new things at the same time! :o)))

Bunty said...

You lucky girl - there is nothing like that where I live. I am very envious!

I am a button collector and it's really hard to get hold of nice ones these days - unless you want to pay a lot of money for them.