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400 Years of Dorset Buttons

Wednesday, August 10   4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

& Thursday, August 11    11:00 am – 12:00 pm

NBS offers two workshops given on two days by Jamie Young, Suzanne Proulx and friends.

     It’s the 400th Anniversary of the Dorset button industry! What began around 1622 as a small button-making enterprise in England’s Dorset County became a thriving cottage industry for local families, providing an income for them and future generations. Industrialization in the mid-19th century led to a collapse in the production and use of the Dorset button. Fortunately, the techniques were not lost and the art was revived in the early 20th century.

     Today, button communities and craft people around the world are learning to make Dorset buttons to celebrate and revive interest in them.

     Join Jamie Young, Suzanne Proulx and their friends as they lead you in creating your own Dorset button, all while learning a bit about the history of this centuries-old cottage industry. We will take photos of our workshop and Dorset buttons to share with Dorset 400th Birthday button groups in England.

     Jamie Young has an extensive background in fine arts, with a BFA in Weaving and a graduate degree in Fiber, Mixed Media and Performance. While living in Honolulu, she taught in state “Artists in the Schools” programs while teaching weaving and basketmaking at Loom Originals. Jamie settled in Chicago and, for the last fifteen years or so, has taught a one-day class for the SAIC on “Artist’s Collections” in which she shows her collection of quilts, outsider art, other treasures and oddities and, of course, buttons!

     Suzanne Proulx, a retired nurse, enjoys embroidering and creating mixed media ‘junque’ journals. She began collecting black glass and mother of pearl to put on brooches. When she learned about the National Button Society, she quickly became a member and joined local clubs and several state societies as well.

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