Sunday, August 27, 2006

Balela buttons

I received some challenge materials from Lorna Oosthuizen in South Africa yesterday. Among her materials were some lovely South African postage stamps, a square of sunny, ethnic look fabric, some rooibush tea packets and... a selection of the most lovely handmade buttons I've seen. They are called Balela buttons and are handcrafted, hand painted ceramic and earthenware novelty buttons.

Along with the buttons came a card that explains the meaning of Balela. Balela is an African Xhosa word which means to "shine clear as the sun from an unclouded sky". Well, the buttons certainly do that! Each one is handcrafted from clay, painted, then fired at stoneware temperatures to make them strong enough to use on clothing.

What I can tell you is that each of the buttons in front of me is an exquisite work of art.


Lee Ambrose said...

Exquisite works of art indeed! These are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

Margaret said...

Beautiful things! Can't wait to see what you will do with this colorful, gorgeous pile of goodies.