Over the years many people have asked not only why I make Dorset Buttons but also what do I do with them.
In May, I took part in the Wylye Valley Arts Trail. I decided it was time to demonstrate that Dorset Buttony is more than just a craft for supplying buttons for garments. For over six months, I worked on textile collage pieces which I had framed and hung in my new studio ready for viewing. For those who expected to see these buttons on items of clothing I also prepared examples on how handmade buttons can transform an outfit.
Just prior to the event, I was asked by a journalist to answer a few questions about myself. Here are a couple of them with my answers:
How does your particular region of South Wiltshire inspire you?
I regard myself as very lucky as I live in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a place where I grew up. After working for fifteen years in London, I made the decision to leave and return to my roots, an area where I have always found peace and inspiration.
What will you be looking at during the Wylye Art Trail?
Opening my own studio will not give me much opportunity to visit other venues but if the opportunity arises, I always head straight for anyone who works in textiles. Whoever I visit, I always find inspiration from other creative people. That is why I enjoy exhibiting at the Cygnet Gallery in Shaftesbury.
What does the Wylye Art Trail mean to you?
The Wylye Valley Art Trail gives me the opportunity to show off my work in my own studio so people can see what I’m trying to do with turning a heritage craft into an art form. I look forward to meeting people and will be serving basic refreshments and hope visitors will engage and share the wonderful view I have from my studio.
I had a very successful week which was followed by another exhibition at the National Trust property at Stourhead, Wiltshire. Dorset Buttons are not just for fastening garments!