Meet Helene Plank, Member of the New Jersey State Button Society and Button-Bead Mosaic Artist
How long have you collected buttons? I have collected buttons for over 40 years. As a very young child, I played with an utilitarian collection my mother had. My mom was amazed that I put all of the buttons back neatly in the tin when I was finished playing.
What was your most exciting button find? My most exciting button find was when I was asked if I’d like a donation of buttons from a fellow member of the New Jersey State Button Society. I was overjoyed to receive a laundry basket full of buttons and other notions and it took me weeks to go through, and incorporate all the items into my inventory.
What’s your most favorite buttons to collect? My favorite buttons to collect are glass, shell and realistics.
What do you do with the buttons you collect? For the last 9 years, I have been creating button-and-bead mosaics, which are hand-sewn onto canvas, to create florals or portraits. On the average, I usually sew around 1,700 buttons, and the canvas usually takes about a month. The most involved mosaic I did took me 6 months and many hours to complete. It was a complicated piece called “Spectral Chamber.” I still have not gathered the courage to count all of the buttons and beads!
If you were to hit the button jackpot, what would that look like? I’d buy a wall unit made exclusively for my buttons to organize them even more than they are currently being organized.
To see some of Helene’s mosaic bead and button work, visit her Facebook page “All Buttoned Up by Helene Plank.” Here, you can read posts showing the process she has used on several of her mosaics plus some notes of interest including art shows and awards she has received. And don’t forget to like her page!