I began smashing buttons one spring day in 2010 when I was angry and frustrated. Sitting on my workbench was a worthless bag of vintage metal buttons. I had been trying unsucessfully to sell them on Etsy, no one wanted to buy them. So I decided to just smash the whole bag, I had nothing to lose.
So I smashed and smashed, with my hammers, with the claws, with a ball peen. On some, the plating peeled off, others turned out to be plastic, but quit a few became much more interesting. Especially the solid brass ones and the hollow filigree ones. I was pretty happy with this little experiment
Maybe that’s what we need these days, to pound some character into all of the slick stuff we have around our homes. (hummm, now that’s an idea, ugh oh!)
I found it very satisfying to smash and flatten these hollow objects. I can't explain why. Once sufficiently smooshed, I decided to pound them on one side only so that they would be slightly concave like little flowers, then I layered 2-3 buttons in a stack and riveted them together.
I took these to a workshop at Anderson Ranch to show to my teacher Bob Ebendorf. He and the other students really liked my smashed button idea and encouraged me to make more.
So I went home made those charms into my first smashed button necklace.
I started making more things but I was running out of buttons. The little bags of 50 or 100 I was buying weren't lasting long. I needed more, lots more.