Thursday, April 5, 2012


Sometimes my mind is overflowing with ideas while other times I struggle for inspiration when planning a new piece. Lately it has been the latter for me. I usually make pieces based on natural elements like leaves and flowers, but that has not appealed to as much lately.

I have been drawn to abstract designs, geometric patterns and ornate textures, especially from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. I have always been fascinated with both Art Nouveau and Art Deco and I have hit a gold mine lately.

First, I purchased some antique buttons and then a customer gave me a whole tin of buttons she inherited from her grandmother and great grandmother so that I could make molds of them. As I began making the molds, the ideas started to flow. I am not an expert at buttons so I don't know the ages but I am pretty sure some of the styles date back to the 1800s. After getting these, I decided to start a new line based on these buttons and other designs and patterns of the time.

Some of the buttons I bought and received from my customer as well as the molds I made with them.

Rings I have made with some of the buttons I bought.
And I have hit the jackpot again. In January I began working as an administrative assistant at a small museum that is a historical home in our town. The home was built in the early 1800s and has much of the original furnishings and belongings of the family.

The house is closed in the winter and we are now cleaning and getting it ready for opening in May. I am privileged to be in close contact with these pieces. Some of the furniture is exquisite. The detail that went into the making of this house and its furnishings is amazing. There are even samplers on the walls embroidered by the girls who lived there.

So while I have been helping out with the cleaning, I have kept my camera in my pocket and have taken pictures of interesting textures and designs. Pretty much anything that caught my eye. The textures and designs are just too good not to share. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Detail on a picture frame in the administrative section of the house. I walk by this every day and I don't get tired of seeing it.

A wrought iron heating grate upstairs in the museum.

Detail on a mirror in one of the bedrooms.

Fabric on a three panel screen/room divider.

Detail of a beadspread.

I can't wait to see what else there is as we continue through the house.


  1. Lisa, this is interesting and inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Great post! Sometimes we forget to gather inspirations from all the lovely things around us.

  3. Wow Lisa! Very inspiring! I feel lost without my camera for just the same reasons!
    xo Barb

  4. Love this post! I have an antique button collection and use molds of them for my jewelry quite often. They are very popular at shows, specially with ladies "of a certain age" who recognize some of the designs.

  5. How lucky your are to be surrounded by inspiration. I hope it allows you the energy to go to your studio and create.

  6. I love seeing other peoples talent - usually makes me a little jealous but I still like it - thank you Lisa - lovely post!

  7. Seeing things through someone elses eyes is amazing! There are so many interesting and inspirational details all around us! Thank you for pointing out your beautiful surroundings!

  8. Beautiful photographs and it is super to see how everyday surroundings and beautiful objects can be an inspiration to us all. The influence of your museum work is shining through.