glazing day

IT’S GLAZING DAY! IT’S GLAZING DAY! New leaf buttons are next up.


instagram contest

Melissa from Prairie Dye Studio is hosting a button giveaway! Her original Instagram post is here : The wonderful @chasingfirecara from Chasing Fire Ceramics Studio has given a set of her fabulous rainbow ceramic buttons for a Giveaway!! The above set of buttons are 2cm large and work wonderfully for projects For a chance to win these buttons: 1. Follow us @chasingfirecara & @prairiedyestudio 2. Tag someone in the comments of the original post from @prairiedyestudio or @chasingfirecara’s Instagram photos. 3. Repost with #chasingfireceramicsgiveaway and be sure to tag @chasingfirecara & @prairiedyestudio in your repost 4. For a BONUS entry: LIKE & FOLLOW Chasing Fire Ceramics Studio & Prairie Dye Studio on FB The last day to enter the Giveaway is March 15!! The winner will be announced soon after Good luck to all entrants!


Etsy shop is open!

Dragonfly button

The Etsy shop is OPEN! I’ve taken my shop out of “vacation mode” and I’m photographing and listing buttons as quickly as I can. With hundreds of buttons in stock, it’ll take some time to get everything updated, but I’m excited to be open! Tonight I calibrated my camera and light box, and listed a handful of buttons to get the ball rolling. Tomorrow evening, I’ll be living next to my camera and laptop to bring buttons to the Internet shopping public.     Here’s a two inch dragonfly button that kicked off things today:  


Owl buttons

owl buttons

I’ve made a large batch of owl buttons in a few larger 1 1/2″ and 2″ sizes after their popularity at the Fibre Shindig in October. The most popular colour was this bright blue, perfect for dressing up the greys and beiges of winter wear with a pop of colour. What are your favourite button colours for dressing up your projects? I’ll have all of the owls, dragonflies, and other creature buttons at the Calgary Fibre Arts Fair in Calgary this Saturday, November 7. Hope to see you there!  


I do love a Shindig

The Fibre Shindig on Saturday was such a great time! My neighbours, The Wacky Windmill and EllSpins, were fun and the people that stopped by my booth were amazing. I was dazzled by the other vendors (The Wacky Windmill has such beautiful yarn and the other yarn vendors were such high quality!) and seeing so many people that shared my love for fibre warmed my heart. I got to peek at many a phone to admire project photos, and talk about my favourite things: buttons, clay, and yarn. Today, I have market-hangover.  I’ve rewarded myself with a day of knitting in pajamas and I’ve finished a pair of socks just in time for them to take the edge off the chilly autumn mornings. The pattern is “Salmon Eyes” by Heather Pfiefer. It was a fun knit, and the fit is perfect. Tomorrow, I get back into the studio to make more beauties for the upcoming Calgary Fibre Arts Fair on November 7 in Parkdale. Today, I knit.


Oct 17, 2015 in Calgary – The Fibre Shindig!

Calgary Yarn Fair

I’ll be at The Fibre Shindig in Calgary, Alberta on Saturday! I’ll have buttons, diz, bookmarks, whisky tumblers, leaf necklaces, and a very limited collection of large yarn bowls. The show has knitting, spinning, fibre, fine art, embroidery, knit and crochet wearables, jewelry, craft tools, and accessories. Saturday, October 17, 2015 10am – 6pm Hillhurst/Sunnyside Community Hall, Calgary $5 Admission with door prizes! More information: The Fibre Shindig Facebook Page The Fibre Shindig website Google Map Directions Map to where I’ll be:


Fresh buttons! Get yer fresh buttons!

Here’s a sneak peek of some of the buttons that came out of the latest kiln firing. This batch was heavy on square beauties since I was completely out of square stock. There are hundreds of unique buttons, but I can’t help but show off some of what I’m packaging up tonight! My favourite glaze combination, this time on swirly squares: For those, like me, that like some fancy added to their knitting, crochet, and sewing projects: My newest glaze which proves again that taking a chance on a new glaze can be a wonderful decision. These are so full of depth and gloss: A lovely group of serene glaze colours that complement the great textures: If you’re in Calgary and you love shiny things, come see these in person Oct 7 or Nov 17! I have many sets of 2-5 that are great for cowls as the chill of autumn reminds us that it’s time to get the needles and hooks going to get our projects ready for the first snowfall. I’m going back to packaging handmade buttons and getting them prepared to find their new homes. Have a great night!    


Kiln is glowing…

In just under two weeks, we’ll be setting up our wares at The Fibre Shindig in Calgary for their one day sale, and then we gear up for the November 7 Calgary Fibre Arts Fair. Calgary buttons, there shall be! The studio has been a bustle of activity as Jason, Jill, and I turn clay into shiny beauties for our yarny friends. After over a year off for me, the steady activity is welcome. Yesterday morning, Jason fired up a kiln that was stacked to the top with buttons. Last night, the kiln reached temperature, and I popped the plugs to take a peek inside. Doesn’t the kiln look beautiful in the evening light, peep holes glowing red from the molten ware inside?  It’s a sight that brings me so much joy. Glazing is my least favourite part of this process since it means painting each little button with several coats of glaze on top and sides, meticulous and monotonous work. The kiln firing means that glazing is finished, and I’m hours away from seeing the results of my labour. We’ll unload the glazed buttons tonight, but I won’t have much time to admire them before it’s time to reload the kiln with whiskey tumblers, Christmas ornaments, bookmarks, and diz. The kiln is working hard for us this month, and I love her for it. Who’d have thunk that this old girl could keep up? While I wait for glazed beauties to emerge for sorting and packaging, I’m working on booth setup and display so that I can bring MORE to the sales. Jason is spending his time between babysitting the kiln, making perfectly balanced whiskey tumblers, and building pegboard spinner displays for our wares. As we were drawing up schematics for the spinners, our 1″ x 1″ gridded whiteboard sheet that we have for gaming came in super handy for planning the perfect setup. Being gaming nerds aligns nicely with our clay love. Time is ticking down! I’ll post some sneak peeks photos when we unload the kiln tomorrow. Stay tuned!  


ready for loading…

325 buttons are on shelves, waiting for their turn in the kiln. Final count = 460 buttons loaded in the kiln, although, to be honest, I started to lose count after 325 during the marathon glazing sessions on the weekend. I could use a hand massage…


Help is on its way

We get by with a little help from our friends. In this case, it is my niece (and an artist in her own right) Jill Reynaud at the button table with me. Her eye for texture makes it easier for me to accept help, and she didn’t even flinch when I used the term “aggressively sponge”. I am a control freak when it comes to accepting help in the studio, and up until now my Mom, with a lifetime of artistry under her belt, had been the only other to touch the buttons. There are many that have offered and I’ve always declined because quality control is my #1 priority, and I don’t want to offend helpers by harping at them to “do it my way”. I need for ceramic buttons, diz, pendants, and everything else coming out of the studio to have smooth edges so they never catch or cut yarn. Smoothing every edge and hole is incredibly time intensive, but I personally feel that the final product quality is worth it. With two fibre shows coming up, and custom orders waiting for my attention, getting some help is the only way to get clay beauties into everyone’s hands. The clay gods heard my cries, and Jill arrived, eager to jump in. And I don’t offend her (or if I do, she just smiles and keeps making beautiful things) Thank you, Jill!  


My rainbow on this rainy day.

Glaze day for these little rainbow button sets! They’ll shrink a bit and take on a vivid shine after their turn in the kiln.


making buttons

I like big buttons. Edges freshly softened, backs smooth, ready for firing.


art to accent art

More photos of buttons in action! Get a load of these adorable little models. (and check out the buttons on those sweaters! They match perfectly!) These sweaters were knit by Tabitha Rose from Harrodsburg, KY using her own hand dyed yarn. I posted photos of these in November however they are even more beautiful when seen in action. From Tabitha: “The yarn was my Wishfox Dyeworks Arctic Fox Aran, and its 100% superwash bfl, squishy and awesome. 182yd/100g. It took less than one skein for the orange sweater, and I used 2 for the brown/teal, but there are substantial leftovers. The orange is approx 2t, and the brown approx 3-4t. I made the patterns up as I went along, but I’m hoping to get them written up sometime soon. I’m a stay at home mother of one from Central KY. I do all the dyeing and fiber processing myself, in my living room and kitchen, and really put my heart into all of it.” January 1, 2013 was Tabitha’s one year anniversary so please visit her online shop and wish her happy anniversary. To celebrate one year in business, she is offering a special January coupon code “YearOne” for 10% off your order. Enter the coupon code at checkout.


the kiln, she is hot

Today is glaze firing day! I load the kiln as I finish items so this morning when the last item went in, it was time to crank up the heat and start the cycle. I loaded four shelves that look much like this one: After the horrific failure of the jewelry stand during the last firing leaving pieces permanently fused and nicked, I’ve gone back to glazing only one side of the buttons so they can lay down for glaze fire. Buttons are just as functional with only the showing side fired so I’m at peace with this decision. I wanted to glaze both sides of pendants for the sheer vanity of it however, until I have a new secure jewelry stand for firing, they will also be glazed one side only.  I have some mugs, stands, pendants and bowls in this kiln load as well. I don’t know how I’m going to wait for it to be finished. During the third of nine hours of firing, I was closing the top vent and took this photo for your viewing pleasure. Looks toasty, doesn’t it?: I’m counting down the hours to unpack this baby tomorrow evening! I guess it’s time to go straighten up the neglected house while I wait.


The Sorting

After the buttons, pendants and other pieces have gone through the kiln once, it’s time for glazing. I spend an embarrassingly long time in this stage: THE SORTING. I lay pages with glaze names and I start to sort the 400-500 buttons. They are separated into sets based on their thickness, pattern and, well, my gut. As I group them with their permanent partners, I look at the glaze sheets and try to find where each set fits. Some glazes show off my stamp and texture detail, others mix better with others, some glazes serious, some playful. Some very popular (hello MidRain!) so I weigh the sorting in its favour. A glaze or two might be new so I’m cautious to be sure I’m not assigning too many sets to an untested glaze.  Some pieces I have made with a very specific glaze combination in mind and I check my notebook to separate these correctly. Once they’re all sorted, my notes double checked, my list of custom orders verified, I take a photo of the table and I go to bed. Goodnight little buttons. Glazing begins tomorrow!