Edmund de Waal Artists Buttons - Set of Six

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Edition no.

Edmund de Waal
Buttons, 2023
Porcelain with gold leaf on reverse
Button diameter 27mm
Set of six buttons, in an edition of 30

The button(s) have been hand sewn onto an A5 cards. Each card is numbered, dated and signed by the artist and presented in a bespoke box designed by A Practice for Everyday Life.

For Edmund de Waal, objects are vehicles for human stories and emotions. His buttons – tiny white porcelain discs – are an elegy for the ceramicist Lucie Rie. They are inscribed in delicate letters with Rie’s name and studio addresses in Vienna and London, alluding to the importance of these two cities in her remarkable life.

Each button is unique, with slight variations in colour and shape. Some are flat and wafer-thin, while others are more curved and sculptural, almost resembling miniature bowls. All the buttons have gold leaf applied to the reverse, so that they cast a glow when placed against a white surface. They are sewn onto their cards with gold thread in an asymmetrical arrangement.

Artist and writer Edmund de Waal is best known for his vitrines and installations of handmade porcelain vessels, often created in response to the history of a particular place. He is the author of the best- selling memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance, which explores diaspora, loss and the survival of objects.

Please note due to the handmade nature of this item, please expect some variation in colour, size and/or finish to those pictured.


About the Artists Buttons project

Ten leading artists, Ai Weiwei, Jonathan Anderson, Rana Begum, Edmund de Waal, Antony Gormley, Callum Innes, Jennifer Lee, Cornelia Parker, Vicken Parsons & Caroline Walker, have been creating limited edition sets of buttons in support of Kettle’s Yard.

The project draws inspiration from the exhibition, ‘Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery’, recently at Kettle’s Yard and from 14 July 2023 – 7 January 2024 at the Holburne Museum in Bath. In 1938, Lucie Rie fled her home in Vienna for London to escape the Nazi persecution of Jewish people. During the war, unable to get a licence to make pots, Rie turned to making ceramic buttons for the fashion industry, experimenting on a miniature scale with new forms and coloured glazes.

Read more about the Artist Buttons project on the Kettle’s Yard blog

Please note purchases of Artists Buttons per customer must not exceed £8,500. Any order exceeding £8,500 will not be processed. 

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