In the button tin


If your idea of heaven involves vintage fabrics, jam jars bursting with buttons, and an eclectic array of ornamental curios, you may well find it in the form of the button tin: a cosy hub of creativity located in the centre of Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

Reminiscent of your gran’s house, the button tin is the beautiful base from which Gemma, who has a degree in Fine Arts, runs sewing workshops with ‘a nostalgic twist’. As Gemma’s artistic interest lies in installations, she wanted to create a space that people could be inspired by, and used her memories of her gran’s button tin as the beginning of her own creative endeavour. Ranging from creating vintage fabric book covers to quirky whimsical mobiles and wall hangings, Gemma’s workshops aim to preserve traditional crafts, whilst incorporating history in unique, sentimental creations.

My friends and I, who had all heard of or visited the button tin previously, took part in one of these workshops on Sunday, and, as you can see from the photos, what an amazing day it was!

Button Tin 6

After introducing herself and describing how the button tin came into existence, Gemma gave us the option of making some fabric jewellery or combining text and textiles to form a wall sampler or piece of wall art. As a poet, it was immediately obvious which option I was going to choose (any opportunity to use my poetic brain!), and luckily all of my friends wanted to do the same.

At the end of a fantastic six hour workshop consisting of one-to-one tutoring; a rummage through, and use of, some gorgeous vintage fabrics, lace doilies and a button tin (of course!); plus lashings of tea and a piece of cake, these are the wonderful pieces my friends produced:

Button Tin 4the button tin Kate

The Button Tin 5

Ellen's creation

As I’m a little bit of a technophobe and we were running out of time, my very kind friend Ellen, who is a Design Technology teacher and talented seamstress, helped me to finish mine, so I can’t take full credit for it, but I was pretty pleased with the quirky apron style sampler I ended up with. Thankyou to Gemma for the inspired idea!

Close up of mine

A line taken from one of my poems.

Button Tin 1

If you fancy a trip to the button tin, would like to know more about this little haven of magic, hidden in an old building in the depths of Yorkshire, or simply need some visual inspiration, take a look at Gemma’s blog: You’ll be truly enchanted.

20130316_133857  Button Tin 3

PS. I stupidly forgot my phone on the day, so had to steal other people’s pics (thankyou people!), or use ones I’d taken previously. As a result, I don’t have any photographic representations of the outside of the button tin in all its unique beauty.

So that’s just another reason to visit Gemma’s blog!


2 thoughts on “In the button tin

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