Maker Maker series kicks off the new year with buttons

Owens Gallery hosts community craft workshop

Aude Gazzano/Argosy

“I truly love buttons and the way that they work and how they’re accessible in ways that can spread messages,” said Claire Hunter, a fourth-year fine arts student who ran the ran the Maker Maker workshop last week.

Last Wednesday, Jan. 22, the Owens Art Gallery hosted their first Maker Maker workshop of the new year. The project: making buttons.

“Maker Maker is an artist-led workshop series where we make pocket-sized art projects in two hours or less. Tonight’s workshop, DIY buttons, kicks off our winter program,” said Lucy MacDonald, curator of education and community outreach at the Owens. In reference to the larger-than-usual turnout she said, “We wanted to start big and we did.”

Hunter both makes and collects buttons. “I was actually going to do a whole piece on buttons for my fourth-year project and that’s why [the Owens] asked me, because they knew I had an interest in contemporary button making,” they said. “With buttons, they’re accessible, you can give them away really easily … you can get that message out really quickly.…  If it’s really small you have to go really close and look really close to it.”

The room where the button-making took place was packed, with nearly every seat already taken by the time the event started. Some participants drew their own designs, while others searched for pictures in magazines and created designs via collage.

“Button-making feels like a really great event,” said Lauren Shay, a fourth-year sociology major who has made it a tradition to attend Maker Maker over the years. “[Button-making is] just super accessible for everyone and who doesn’t like buttons?”

“I’m self-described as being bad at crafts,” said Jilane Buryn, a fifth-year sociology student. “So it was really nice to have something that was accessible and that couldn’t turn out badly, and something that I could actually use. It’s nice to see so many people engaging with crafts.”

Keep your eyes open for the next Maker Maker workshop.

Julianna Rutledge
Julianna Rutledge is a third year English major at Mount Allison University. She grew up outside of Toronto (which she never quite liked) and moved to Sackville for university (which she would like better if there were less exams). She is an Arts and Culture reporter at the Argosy.