Buttons and Beads
The first Dorset button was made by Abraham case of Shaftesbury between 1680 and 1685. The development of the button trade was so great that eventually thousands of men, women and children were employed in their trade.
This sample was made using curtain rings and washers. The washers were first painted with car spray paint (care should be taken to perform the spraying in a well ventilated area). Beads were added to some of the buttons and only the 'casting' step performed.
There are four stages to making a Dorset button:
These samples show beads made from Fimo - a coloured polymer clay than can be baked hard.
The sample on the left shows various beads and buttons made with Turquoise, terracota and neutral coloured Fimo. Some have also been rubbed over with a Markal Artist's Paintstik.
The sample on the right shows some oblong buttons made from blue Fimo, rolled over with pastry wheel and coloured with a Markal Paintstik.