I had the chance to visit the 2009 Oregon State Button Society show this month and it was spectacular! I had never been to a button show before, but Myrna Goldware (of The Needle fame) told me about it a few months ago, and I marked my calendar right away. I had Pearl in tow, so my time was short, but it was a fantastic experience and I’m so glad I got to see it all.
The theme this year was “Buttons… The Stories They Tell,” which was fascinating. Everyone at the show was so welcoming and they immediately gave me permission to take pictures… so I started my trek around the room with a few of the exhibits, like this set of hand-embellished clothes and accessories in the style of the world-famous Pearly Kings and Queens.
There were also rows and rows of trays in the back of the room, which members had created for themed competitions.
I loved seeing all the buttons together in these inventive and fascinating combinations, it was almost too much to take in! Here are a few I especially liked, all having to do with my favorites, pearl buttons:
The center of the room was all dealers and collectors (you can get a much better idea of the scope in these photos), with thousands and thousands of buttons for sale. I got to meet Jocelyn (who supplies The Needle with buttons galore), which was lovely, and snap a few photos of some of her legions of buttons for sale, all neatly arranged on cards inside dozens of flip-boxes, sorted by material and type:
I’ll round up all of my finds and post a photo of them together — I found some very sweet Bakelite, casein and (of course) pearl buttons. My last purchase was six tiny, exquisite baby pearl buttons, perfect for embellishing something special for my own baby Pearl.
All of my photos are here and you can find out lots more about the Oregon society here, and see their photos from the show here. The 2010 show is already set for April 30 – May 1, and the theme is Luau, Button Style… I’ve got the dates circled on my calendar and this time I’m hoping to spend a longer chunk of the day there!
For information on button societies in your state (in the US), visit the National Button Society website to find the nearest organizations and events. The national convention, which is themed “When Buttons Fly Over Colorado,” will be taking place in Denver this August 3 -8, and it sounds like it will be amazing. In the meantime, you can read some excellent articles on vintage and antique buttons on the NBS site, and see photos from past shows, too.
Thank you to the OSBS and everyone I met last week, it was wonderful!