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$65    Mar 23

Price includes free shipping in the US, all fees and a $5 donation to NBS. You are invited to check out after each purchase but pay by check at the end of this event or when you are done purchasing buttons. This will save NBS the handling fees. Mail checks payable to NBS to: Marion Nebiker NBS, 6190 Travers Way, San Diego CA 92122-2129. If that is inconvenient, you can certainly pay with a credit card. 

Nancy De DuBois

My appreciation for sewing buttons started in my 20s and has continued to be one of the most inspiring and educational facets of my life. My studio button journey started in 1990 when fellow button collector Eva Evans from Massachusetts, knowing that I did leatherworking, asked if I would make her a leather log cabin button. I did, and so began my love of crafting small works with button shanks. My earliest buttons made in the 1990s were primarily sculpted leather buttons, crafted individually using tools made to work small. These early buttons are signed, numbered, dated and will often include a mustard seed embedded in the back.

In the late 90s I began experimenting with scrimshaw on mother of pearl, bone, vegetable ivory and stone. It was during this time that Martha Breen also from Massachusetts suggested that I try working on another type of shell, and she sent me samples. This is when I started working on Pen (pinna) shell.

The pen shell buttons are signed with initials N.D., numbered and dated. If it is a limited edition design there will be additional numbers. Occasionally there are pen shell buttons that I particularly appreciated, and these will have a full signature on the back.

Over the years as I continued to collect buttons, I couldn’t help but be fascinated with the materials and techniques that were used in button construction. I am creative by nature and a continuous “maker of things” which led to a lot of experimentation and a limited number of button endeavors. A very small number of plique a jour enameling and old-style watch crystal buttons were produced in the early 2000s as a result of this experimentation. In addition, there are a quantity of “fun buttons” such as holograms, cast resin and carved polyester buttons that were produced out of interest in the material and for my own good pleasure. These buttons are not numbered and often have initials and dates on a paper label adhered to the back.

In 2009 after working glass for several years I decided to learn more about this medium. I spent the next decade focusing on glass education, earning a degree in glass art and industrial design and working at the college where I learned. It was during this time that I added paperweight and pate de verre glass buttons to my materials and techniques repertoire.

Since 1990 I have produced limited quantities of studio buttons every year and have collaborated with fellow crafts persons such as John Gooderham, Sarah Hodgson (Atley buttons) and Dana Gayner.

Presently I occasionaly work on buttons and send very small numbers of them out into the button world via good friend and button dealer Annie Frazier. I am very happy to be participating in this N.B.S. studio button month event as I am very proud to be part of this group of unique craftspeople.

Personal Information - I live on Hedgefield farm ca 1722 in southern New Jersey. I am married with three children and three grandchildren. The farm has beef cattle and grows soybeans, corn and hay. We also have glass studios and woodworking/ craft shops located on the property. I love living on the farm and have many gardens and flowerbeds.

In addition to family, farm, gardening, sewing and buttons I spend a lot of time involved with glass art. Over the last few years, I have participated in several glass fashion shows where I have been able to combine my costume making with glass. The last one was particularly interesting as it was held in Murano Italy and the models rode in gondolas wearing costumes adorned with glass components. I was able to send three full costumes that were exhibited there.

Other shows of note were held at the Corning Museum of Glass, Toledo Museum of Glass, JRA Washington DC and several others here in New Jersey. Also, interestingly enough, I have used quantities of clear glass buttons as the main focal glass on several of my favorite costumes.

I enjoy attending the New Jersey State Button Society’s spring and fall shows each year and am pleased to mention that my son has become interested in button collecting and also attends the shows with me.

Also, my husband Skip made lovely paperweight buttons for several years and sent them out into the button world through several dealers, I must say that they are some of the prettiest floral paperweight buttons out there.

My favorite subjects/types of buttons to collect are flowers, birds, butterflies, rabbits, diminutives, paperweights and glass set in metal.

My favorite subjects to use for studio button designs are fables, fairy tales, flowers, insects, animals, Kate Greenaway, sunbonnet babies, moons and stars and all manner of humorous themes.

Following is a complete list of materials and techniques I have used in making studio buttons:

Leather- sculpted, carved, embossed, painted, dyed, realistics,

set in wood, set in beaded bezel.

Shell (mother of pearl, conch, abalone, pen shell, cowrie, melon)

scrimshaw, engraved, cameo carved, pierced, pigmented, painted,

set in wood, set in silver, beaded bezel.

Glass - flameworked paperweight and realistic glass. Kiln cast pate de verre

glass, kiln fused glass, reverse painted watch crystals.

Metal- fine silver plique jour, copper plique a jour, silver realistics,

silver bezels for shell and glass.

Wood- carved, painted, lathe turned frames, porthole habitat, realistics

Plastic/Resin- cast, reverse carved, painted, carved realistics

Vegetable Ivory-carved, painted

Fossilized stone- engraved

Paper mâché/Plaster- realistics

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