Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Zen of the Button Box"

Back in early May, I made a long overdue trip to New York City to visit friends and deliver a commissioned painting series to its new home (Thanks Todd!). Between my day job, Golden events and a painting project to fill my free time, I hadn't found many moments to relax and refocus in quite awhile. When I arrived in Brooklyn I sought out on an adventure to find these moments and was pleasantly surprised to discover one inside a cozy little fabric store in Park Slope called fibernotion.

My mission on this trip was to support some of my favorite local businesses. I moved away from Brooklyn two years ago and miss so many of my old haunts, but I also enjoy finding new places that have popped up in the meantime! After dropping off my painting commission at its new home, I began wandering around, floating in and out of shops, snaking my way up 7th Avenue towards the Tea Lounge on Union St. As I turned down Union from 7th, I looked up and was met with a flash of color, fabrics, yarn, ribbons...and buttons. I had stumbled upon fibernotion, and joyously ventured inside the door.

Almost immediately I gravitated towards their button box. I'm attracted to and inspired by color, especially when I see the palette of colors I paint with grouped together somewhere. I thought that some of these buttons may be a good addition to some textile projects I'm cooking up, so I grabbed a little baggie and began to pick out a selection of buttons from the box...

As I stood there hunched over this button box, I experienced the most wonderful sense of calm. The stresses of the previous few months of work went away, I no longer heard cars outside or people around me and the world itself seemed to freeze still, as I raked my hands and fingers through the buttons, selecting small morsels of color to take home. When I filled my bag to the brim, I stood up and snapped to. I realized those 15-20 minutes had given me the most relaxing feeling I'd had in months. I felt refreshed. I thanked the lady at the counter and told her how blissful it was to sort through buttons...she said "We call that 'the Zen of the Button Box'". I smiled, chatted for a bit, took some photos of their store and made my purchase.

I kept looking at my little bag of buttons the rest of the day. I liked how I kept seeing new combinations of colors together as a shook up the bag. I began to pull creative inspiration from the bag itself...reminded by how lovely the experience was to put the bag together, I couldn't help but smile when I looked at it. When I returned to LA, I started putting the button bag in my purse, would take it to work and put it on my desk. It became something more than just a bag of buttons, and I knew I would never separate them from each other for my textile projects. Since the trip, I've used the bag as reference when I'm trying to think up colors for paintings...I shake the bag and look for relationships between colors and shapes, fragments of letters and subtle metallic glow. I like to tell people about my buttons...those of you who are creative types understand my attachment to them. They've become a symbol of good fortune, happiness...and zen :)

If you are in Park Slope, Brooklyn...please go check out fibernotion:
849 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
shop and studio: 718.230.4148

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