Chronicling

Portait of a Collector: Mary Stampleman

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Mary Stampleman, left, poses with studio artist Karen  L. Cohen

“Thank God for Buttons!,” says Mary Stampleman, in the middle of the COVID lockdown. “At least we have a wonderful hobby to turn to when we need to escape!”

She has collected buttons for more than 35 years and is partial to Division 1 glass. (Division I buttons are non-uniform buttons made before 1918).  “I like to make creative mountings using antique trade cards and Victorian scraps. During the shut-down, I’ve been remounting old trays and also making new ones.

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Studio button by Carolyn Eisley, frame by Mary Stampleman

Here’s an example: The button above was made by Carolyn Eisley of Fairy Tale Buttons. It is about three inches across on a wooden disc, with an acrylic face made by the artist. Mary embellished the fabric frame.

Her advise for newcomers to collecting: Read button books, join the National Button Society, visit their online educational materialsand go to the State shows to learn about buttons.