Button quiz, projects and more

Bead Quiz Hero

Here at Bead&Button, we love to feature buttons in our projects and find artists who use them in their work. In jewelry, buttons offer fashion and form. Ornamentation and closure. Beauty and purpose. Since November 16 is National Button Day, I have gathered some of my favorite button projects, articles, and a few fun facts.Plus, you’ll find a video on selecting buttons and profiles on button artists. After that, I leave you with a button quizlet to round out our button celebration.

This first project pairs four-hole metal buttons with crystals. The step-by-step directions, by Julia Gerlach, show you how to connect the components using simple bead weaving techniques.
Swarovski crystals are the highlight of these little shank buttons called Crystaletts. Here is a project by Jane Danley Cruz that combines cube beads with Crystaletts using peyote stitch.
To showcase a button in the center of a necklace, see this project by Sue Neel. It uses a statement button as the focal piece of a bead-embroidered pendant, and displays it on a picot stitch rope.

A second button pendant project uses vintage buttons and fringe to make a statement. This design by Leslee Frumin incorporates a right-angle weave band that encircles the button.

In this video, Cassie Donlen details how to select buttons to incorporate into your beadwork, sharing helpful tips for when you are on a quest to find the perfect item to bezel. 
Next up is a sampling of works by artist Augusto Esquivel, who elevates buttons to new heights. Click through our gallery of images to see how he dangles buttons to form kinetic, three-dimensional sculptures of iconic cultural touchpoints, like the claw arcade game and Coke machine pictured above. 
View Ran's work online at the Leila Heller Gallery.
Another artist, Ran Hwang is best known in the art world for her large-scale wall installations, incorporating buttons, beads, pins, and threads on wood panels to form images of falling blossoms, vases, and birds. 
View the work of Jane Perkins here.
Yet another artist inspired by the simple button, as well as famous portraits, is UK-based artist Jane Perkins. She finds her inspiration in found objects, and uses anything from toys to shells, buttons, and beads for her recycled art. 
View Tracy Greer’s Pop Art on an inspiring Mixed Media Art site.
Tracy Greer uses buttons to accentuate the hairdos of her portrait women. Born in the UK, Tracy now lives in sunny Australia.
Button Quiz
How well do you know the humble button? Take the quiz, and then check the answers below.
Button Quiz Bakelite

1) What type of buttons are these?

A. Bakelite Buttons

B. Mandarin Buttons

C. Satsuma Resin Buttons

D. Daguerreotype Buttons
wolrd button

2) What country’s craftspeople were considered the first to pair functional buttons with buttonholes for use on snug clothing?

A. Belgium

B. France

C. China

D. Germany
Bead Quiz_American Maid Pearl Buttons copy

3) In what U.S. state were these buttons produced?

A. California

B. Iowa

C. Maine

D. North Dakota

Button Quiz

4) In the 17th century, what item did smugglers attempt to hide in box-like buttons?

A. Drugs

B. Exotic insects

C. Eyeballs

D. All of the above
Button Quiz measuring tape

5) Buttons are commonly measured in what measurement term?

A. Lieue

B. Pouce

C. Lignes

D. Points
Button Quizz justice

6) Where, when, and why were buttons illegal?

A. England / mid 1300s / to maintain distinction in social standing

B. Egypt / 600 B.C. / to control who may wear button-like talismans

C. Massachusetts, U.S. / early 1600s / to regulate unnecessary expenses for immodest fashion

D. All of the above


1) What type of buttons are these? A: Bakelite, an early plastic, was invented and developed by the Belgian/American scientist Dr. L.H. Baekeland in 1907. 

2) What country’s craftspeople were considered the first to pair functional buttons with buttonholes for use on snug clothing? D: The pairing is attributed to Germany in the 13th century. Button with buttonholes soon became widespread with the rise of tight-fitting fashion in 13th- and 14th-century Europe. Note: Some evidence points to crusaders returning to Europe with buttons and buttonholes in 1100s, but the popularity hit much later.

3) In what U.S. state were these buttons produced? B: These buttons hail from Muscatine, IA, which is the Pearl Button Capital of the World.

4) In the 17th century, what item did smugglers attempt to hide in box-like buttons? A: Smugglers from the 17th century, as well as today’s bandits, have attempted to smuggle illegal drugs in buttons with hidden compartments. I hope you didn't think the answer was "eyeballs." That would be disgusting.

5) Buttons are commonly measured in what measurement term? C: In the 9th century German button makers began to use the term “ligne” to measure the diameter of buttons. A ligne, also called lines and abbreviated L, measures one inch to 40 lignes.

6) Where, when, and why were buttons illegal? A and C: Sumptuary laws were established in both England and in the U.S. in the 1300s and 1600s, respectively. I made up the Egyptian answer. As far as I know, no formal Egyptian code of law has been preserved from the 7th century.


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