Have you ever seen something that really appeals to you and you are not sure why. Maybe it is a piece of art or a tea cup. Perhaps it is something more practical like a wonderful bowl. For me, it is a piece of American Folk Art made from China Doll* buttons, laid out in neat rows with a cross design in the middle. The fabric is utilitarian brown with a heavy weave. I don’t know exactly when it was made but I would guess during the Depression years when folks had nothing. To me, it talks of a simpler time in which everything was used and reused. Nothing went to waste because nothing was all that people had. A nameless woman used these simple buttons to create something very lovely. It is now worn and missing a few buttons. I think it just adds character. Whoever made it is long gone but her work remains. I like that.
*China Doll buttons are made out of China slip, similar to dishes. They were first manufactured in England in the mid-19th century. It is these buttons, manufactured cheaply during the Industrial Revolution that allowed the middle class to afford buttons on their clothing. During the American expansion west, buttons such as these were sold by the barrelful in General Stores. They were designed to match the calico fabrics of the day.