Kaleidoscope, or Paperweight button

Kaleidoscope, or Paperweight button

Every once in a while–okay, fairly often–I get sucked down a rabbit hole. This week’s warren is vintage buttons. Naturally, I had to go looking for spooky ones.

Kaleidoscope buttons were first made in the 19th century. A metal plate is covered with a design, and a glass dome goes on top. Sometimes the dome is faceted, to create more of a kaleidoscope effect. The button above is probably much more recent–mid 20th century or so.

Black Glass with Carnival Luster

Black Glass with Carnival Luster

Molded Glass Bat

Molded Black Glass

Black Glass with Gold Luster

Black Glass with Gold Luster

Black glass buttons became popular in the Victorian era. They were made to imitate the jet buttons the Queen wore in her mourning.  In the 20th century, most of these beautiful buttons were produced by skilled glass craftsmen in Czechoslovakia.

Brass Escutcheon Style

Brass Escutcheon Style

Brass Pictorial Button

Brass Pictorial Button

Metal buttons from the Victorian era were made mostly of brass and copper. Pictorial buttons are highly prized. This spider looks like it might be domed as well.

Carved and Tinted Celluloid

Carved and Tinted Celluloid

Celluloid was the first man-made plastic, produced from wood and cotton fibers. It was very popular in the early 20th century. Highly flammable, it was eventually replaced with other materials.

Composition with Glitter

Composition with Glitter

This fantastic, glittery spider was listed merely as “composition,” which could mean anything, but commonly referred to “horn.” Horn buttons were ground cow hooves, pressed in a mold with other items–like glitter.

Moonglow

Moonglow

Moonglow buttons became popular in the mid-20th century. They were made in West Germany and Czechoslovakia. They have an opaque glass base with a satin finish, and are covered with clear glass to increase their luster. Moonglow subjects tend toward the pretty, but I did find this delicious pair sporting Halloween green stripes.  (PS: I totally bought these. Yep.)

Brooks Button

Brooks Button

Another Brooks

Another Brooks

Edith and Alan Brooks hand-painted on plastic and glass blanks. They worked in England in the mid-20th century. The Brooks were primarily painters, and didn’t make many buttons, so these are rare collectors’ items.

I’m going to stop now. Thanks for indulging me in my little obsession. If you’ve caught the bug, learn about antique buttons at Vintage Buttons.net, Byson Buttons, and Ohio Buttons.

I leave you with some hand-made modern buttons.

Pumpkin Buttons by Lindabelinda

Pumpkin Buttons by Lindabelinda

Pyrography buttons by Wooden Heart Buttons

Pyrography buttons by Wooden Heart Buttons

Crypt Keeper Raku Buttons by Wondrous Strange

Crypt Keeper Raku Buttons by Wondrous Strange

 

Arthur Tress

Arthur Tress

40 years ago, Arthur Tress asked children to describe their nightmares. He visualized them in the series Daymares, staged photographs that tap into all our fears.

In an era where street photography ruled supreme, Tress was among the earliest photographers to experiment with staged photos. Series like this were among the first to shatter the belief that photography was a tool to document reality, instead applying the medium to imagine and create new realities.

 

POMELO Bat Wings Black Lace Heart-shaped Backpack

POMELO Bat Wings Black Lace Heart-shaped Backpack

Here is an adorable batty backpack for you. Via GothFashion.

 

newblack

Vantablack is so dark, it’s like looking into a black hole. Finally, Wednesday Addams has something else to wear.

Jasper Skull

Jasper Skull

Roiden2 specializes in selling hand-carved skulls (I don’t think he’s the carver) on ebay. They come in a variety of gorgeous stones.

Wonderland-She'll Wait for You in the Shadows of Summer

Wonderland-She’ll Wait for You in the Shadows of Summer

The flickr photostream of the astonishing Kirsty Mitchell.

David Hale

David Hale

Lace ink is a beautiful way to cover a body. Abstract, yet recognizable, it is infinitely malleable.

Watson Adkinson

Watson Adkinson

Several artists have ventured into white ink. This sleeve by Watson Adkinson is subtle and delicate, truly looking like it is a part of the wearer.

Joby Cummings

Joby Cummings

This white shoulder piece by Joby Cummings is bolder.

Xoil

Xoil

Xoil adds his modern style to a lace garter.

Dexeen

Dexeen

Fellow French artist, Dexeen, who has a similar style, creates stunning detail in this collar.

Crotalo

Crotalo

 

I leave you with this, which, sadly, is not real. It’s been posted everywhere as an example of a fantastic lace tattoo, and I hope someday, someone actually does this. According to the photographer: “it’s a tattoo pattern drawn on her back, the technique to map it with precision is half way between 3d modeling and photo editing…”  He thinks it wouldn’t be possible to make this a real tattoo. I bet Dexeen could do it.

Strange Thoughts

Strange Thoughts

Untitled

Untitled

Aditya Ikranegara’s digital paintings, mostly of fantastical women, are expressive and rich in color

Falling to Pieces

Falling to Pieces

Empty

Empty

Splashes of red lead the eye, creating dynamic movement even when the subject is still.

OO

OO

Untitled 22

Untitled 22

Power thrums from his characters; they are beautiful, but dangerous.

Untitled 12

Untitled 12

Halloween

Halloween

And sometimes, delightfully spooky. See more of his work on his deviantArt page.

 

Departure

Departure

I’ve followed Alexander Jansson for a while now. His art is rich in color and texture, his edges mysterious, his stories delightful.

Pavor Nocturnus III

Pavor Nocturnus III

In addition to his blog, his dark, yet joyful work can be perused at deviantArt and Facebook.

Mossy Stub

Mossy Stub

I especially love his imaginative landscapes built atop trees and bridges.

Willfred

Willfred

Those twirly trees are more than anchor–they live and interact with the beings they frame.

Etienne

Etienne

His sense of wistful whimsy makes me long to live in his worlds.