Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 11: If you like it put a ring on it

There's something really satisfying about a vintage button. Maybe it's the quirkiness, history, rarity or detail that you find in an old button. It's exactly this character and charm that makes Heather Stowell's jewellery so pleasing. Inspired by her love of buttons, Ely-based Stowell turns something old (said vintage buttons) into something new (a ring, a bracelet, a necklace, earrings...).

My friend Em is a big fan of Stowell's work (we discovered her at Pullens Yards open studios a few years ago) and these two rings are hers. The vintage buttons are edged in silver, with the ring attached either by the button holes (as on the red button) or the loop at the back of the button (as on the grey one). Em paid £30 and £40 respectively for these, but the latter was a special commission using a button Em had found and fallen in love with.

The Stickman and I, meanwhile, had a button from his grandma Ellen's button tin cast into a sterling-silver pendant for his mum's 60th birthday. That's another skill to Stowell's bow. She takes a cast of a beautifully intricate button and turns it into a sterling-silver replica of the original. Our necklace was a one-off and all the more precious to have been made from something so personal.

So, if you're after something different and a little bit unusual, check out Heather Stowell's jewellery at the Primrose Hill Designer Sale tomorrow, from 10am to 6pm at St Mary-the-Virgin, Elsworthy Road, London NW3 3DJ. There's jewellery, pottery, accessories and homewares from over 30 designers, including Alex Monroe. Or you can contact Stowell on email at

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