I have just received my copy of the new book by Austrian button maker, Sabine Krump. Zauber der Zwirnknopfe (Magic of Thread Buttons) is a German language book, and my review will be based on the fact that I do not actually speak the language.
This book is, like Sabine's other books, a hardback and limited edition. It is 21cm square and 128 pages. Sabine's button books are an eclectic mix of stories, buttons, poems, photography - and this book is no exception.
At the beginning is a fairy tale. This is stunningly illustrated with silhouettes by the paper artist Lois Cordelia. They are lovely illustrations - they have movement and her treatment of button designs in silhouette is wonderful. These illustrations continue throughout the book and are perfect.
The book goes through some of the basics of button making - information that will be of most use to those who can read it, but also good for those of us doing research (it is always helpful to have search terms from other languages!).
The book also contains some background and history - Sabine does come from a family of button makers - as well as tradtional stories and musings.
Sabine includes instructions for 26 button designs. Some are her own designs, including a few basics to begin with, other are contributions (such as the Cherry Blossom button by Yoko Odaira of Japan, and my Hearts thread button). The instructions include photographs, and for most of the buttons, I do think that the photographs are clear enough to follow. You can see one of these in my One Button A Day - Day 35 - "The Apple Core Star" (der apfelkernstern). A few of the buttons might need a more experienced eye to work out some of the detail that is no doubt explained in the text, but on the whole I do feel that a non-German reader will be able to make at least most of the buttons.
The majority of these are Zwirnknopfe - ring buttons. Although they look similar to Dorset ring buttons they are made differently - essentially the spokes are laid first and any covering of the ring done later. (Dorset buttons have the rings covered first). Sabine also includes some thread wrapped buttons - including designs she has adapted by using a ring instead of a solid mould.
This book is illustrated throughout - not only with the wonderful artwork from Lois Cordelia, but also of images of beautful buttons, including some with adotable kittens and cats! There are many wonderful variations of the ones that she shows step-by-step, so once you have mastered the basics, you could continue to experiment. So, even if you aren't inclined to try to make all of the buttons, it is a great 'coffee table' book - my husband enjoyed looking through it as well!
This book does not have an ISBN number and needs to be ordered (at the moment) directly through Sabine. The current cost is 26.90 Euros - plus postage. You can find out more by visiting her website (click here).