Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sterling Silver Portrait Buttons

I am home, having had a wonderful week in the mountains. The fall colors were magnificent! I see I have a lot of catching up to do with my blog reading.

I was asked by a friend if I would make some portrait buttons of her five children. They will be on a sweater she wants to knit. I asked her if she would mind if I sculpted them sleeping. I hate the look of vacant eyes in metal. She said she rather liked it when they were all asleep. LOL I also thought it would be kind of creepy to have five sets of eye balls staring out from a sweater.

The first two have had the shanks soldered to the backs and have been polished and oxidized. The third one is dull because it hasn't been polished yet and still needs a shank on the back of it. The sculpting was done in wax with a hot tool. Most of the small details had to be done with a needle. They were built up rather than carved out of hard wax. Then of course lost wax cast in sterling silver.

I am delighted that my (at home) bench is finally together. I am going to love having a place to work at home on some miniatures.


  1. Este trabajo tiene mucha responsabilidad, hacer las cabezas de los hijos. Estos que ya tienes hechos están preciosos. Trabajas muy bien la plata. Ella ya sabia a quien lo encargaba y sabia que estarían muy bien hechos.
    El banco de trabajo da gusto verlo, con todas las herramientas a mano y muy ordenadas. Me encanta.
    Besos Clara

  2. Love the Buttons what a clever idea..x

  3. The buttons are amazing, beautiful and poetic ...
    Your talent does not surprise me anymore, but always moves me.
    Your workbench is my dream (forbidden, since our apartment is already so small)
    Mini hugs, Flora

  4. Que precioso trabajo.
    Que bien trabajas la palata, debe ser dificilisimo hacer esas piezas.
    besitos ascension

  5. Dearest Catherine,
    I cannot begin to understand the process of making these amazing items, but I think they are wonderful....I certainly hopes she stitches these buttons on very well....imagine how frustrating it would be to lose one of these....yes, I'm thinking pratically!!! I have said it before, I shall say it again and I am sure it won't be the last there anything that you cannot do??!!
    So pleased you had a great time away.
    Regards....Linda x

  6. Catherine, Your buttons came out so wonderful!! Do you have your own centrifuge? How lucky if you do!! Endless possibilities with what can be made! It is good to see you posting again! Sounds like you saw some real beauty in the country! I love that workbench and will look forward to seeing what you are making on it!!

  7. What a lovely work you have done and what a nice idea :-)!Hugs,Jeannette

  8. It is just amazing. What a stunning work.
    I wish I could have 1% of your talent !

  9. Linda,
    I pulled a mold off the wax before I cast it. They were a lot of work in wax and I could risk anything happening to them. Plus I thought I might sell them in a set of six someday.

    Yes, I do all my own casting. I just don't have or take the time to do as much sculpting as I wish I could.

    Thanks Everyone! It is so nice to come home and be back in blogland. So many wonderful posts this week while I was away. I have some catching up to do.

  10. Catherine they are so beautiful. I don't know if I'd like to wear them on a sweater but I'd love looking at them on daily basis at home. Beautiful indeed, Rosanna

  11. Rosanna,
    It isn't my style either. That is the way of it when you work on commissions for other people. ;-)

  12. Beautifully detailed buttons, and with lovely character!
    I'm not sure I'd like to 'wear' faces, but you've done a great job!

  13. I use to wear faces for earrings, brooches , rings etc etc so I am completely comfortable with these. I think they are really wonderful. But I agree with Linda. I don't think I can bear it if I lose a button bearing the face of my child.

  14. What a great work you did on this commission! Love how the faces look. And I'm getting more curious each time on how you do these kind of things. Maybe I'm going to take a course in this some day.

    groetjes Evelien

  15. YOU are amazing. truly talented. It is allways fun to visit you because you do so many things and all so very well.

    Lovely buttons! I can see the real children smiling when all is together!
    Have a wonderful day,