Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Better with Butter & Buttons

Here's the butter dish with the overlapped glaze with a stick of butter on it so you can see how it fits.

Here's the same butter dish without the butter. I think the dish looks better with butter.

Monday I worked at the gallery ArtWorks and brought along some clay to try my hand at making buttons. I purchased some cocktail straws which have a smaller diameter than the drink straws I use to put the holes in pendants and ornaments. After I made the buttons I looked at the holes and thought when they shrink and after firing, the holes may be too small. I learned there are several different sizes of straws. I use a straw to punch the holes because it leaves a smooth edge and it's much quicker and easier to use than a hole punch or drilling the holes after leather hard.

There are sipper straws, ice tea straws, smoothie straws, and the larger straws. There may be even more, like school milk straws. Does anyone know what size straw would be the best for the holes in buttons? And do you know a supplier for the straws. We'll see after firing if this first batch of buttons is even usable.

Then there are the buttons with shank style holes. And then how to display the buttons. Make some cards and sew them on? Even more button details to figure out. Maybe buttons are a lot like ornaments, more trouble than they are worth. Much to consider working with clay. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. That looks like quite a nice batch of buttons. I wouldn’t have a clue what size straw would work but I’m guessing if you measured a standard button then compensated for some shrinkage and played on google for a while you could find the answer. Hopefully a reader will know and save you some of that time.

  2. I think the buttons will look nice sewn onto cards... another step to add to the making!

    I have a set of hole cutters, with wood handles, in a variety of sizes. The smallest is just right for buttons and ornaments. Most ceramic suppliers sell them.

  3. Hi Lori, thanks, when in doubt I always relay on my online clay buddies and posted on fb clay buddies too now why didn't I think of measuring an actual button, ha, need to find my mm ruler.

    Hi Michele, thanks, I have a hole cutter in a larger size with a wood handle, but if you ever used a straw you'd know why I'd like to find the size that works it makes making the holes so quick and easy.

  4. Good luck on buttons. I tried on a card, but wanted to have my name somewhere on it too. Too much work in the end. But I still have some neat ones, that I'd love to put on something I knit someday!

  5. Hi Barbara, thanks, I think the card can have your name on them; maybe you'll post your buttons, would love to see them.

  6. So many things to consider... Good luck.
    And, an ignorant question. What does a stick of butter weigh? We sell butter by weight and I have often wondered what a stick weighs - and where the term comes from.

  7. Hi Sue, thanks, yes many things to consider but that's why I like working in clay, keeps me on my toes. Good question about the butter. I think a stick is one quarter of a pound. and the measurements are used in baking all the time, melt one stick of butter. perhaps when butter was first hand churned the stick was what they used to churn the butter with and what stuck on the stick became a stick of butter. but what do I know. Ha.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment