Some interesting art has been made using buttons. Ran Hwang creates beautiful wall installations with them; Lisa Kokin makes pixilated compositions by stitching them together; Jane Perkins likes to transform found objects like buttons into something new; and Shishua Vang works them into her paintings. We’ll also be making some cool button art, filled with bright colours and interesting textures.
- chicken wire
- wire cutters
- needle nose pliers
- Plaster of Paris bandages
- container with water
- chopsticks (optional)
- acrylic paint
- paint brushes
- glue gun
1. Chicken wire provides a great base for making sculptures, however, preparing it is best left to adults or older children because of the sharp edges. Decide on the size you want, and cut a section using wire cutters, making sure to bend any pointy parts towards the back using pliers. To make the shape more interesting, bend it to create peaks and valleys. You may also want to weave objects through it like chopsticks, in order to add additional areas for the plaster bandage to rest on.
2. Plaster of Paris bandage rolls are available in art supply and medical supply stores. Cut the bandages into manageable strips and dip each one into water before laying it onto the wire base. Continue until it is completely covered, wrapping it around any sharp edges that might remain. Bumps and creases will make it more interesting once dry, so don’t worry about trying to make it smooth. Allow to dry overnight.
3. Sort the buttons to get an idea of what colours you have. Now paint the plaster base using acrylic paints in colours similar to the buttons. Allow to dry.
4. Once the paint has dried, use a glue gun to add buttons. If you’re dealing with young children, have them point to where they want each button so an adult can glue them on. Budding young artists can then sit back and admire their work.
The painting below provided inspiration for this project. The artist, Shishua Vang, embedded buttons in thick layers of paint, creating a beautiful button landscape.