Diane Schefferly Scrimshaw on Pearl

Diane Schefferly began collecting buttons in 1972 after she stopped at an estate sale and purchased a charm string. She then joined the local Mayflower club, MBS and NBS. Always being decidedly artistic, in 1979 she began designing her scrimshaw buttons and continued carving these intricate miniature works of art for 35 years. Totally self-taught, she made her buttons in the manner that the sailors on the old sailing ships did their scrimshaw.

While she has created her Schefferly Scrimshaw buttons using horn, vegetable ivory, celluloid, deer and moose antler, and polyester, it was Mother of Pearl that became her favorite material since it lends a great deal of luster and depth to the overall design. Her early subjects were characters from storybooks and fairy tales, children and animals, but later she really branched out in all directions. Diane has carved over 1795 designs, keeping a record of each one. In total, she has carved over 5000 buttons. Her scrimshaw buttons are extremely limited editions, usually only 2 buttons per image. All are signed, numbered and dated on the back.

Diane stated, “Combining the love of art and buttons to create lasting beauty prompted my original interest in designing buttons. Buttons are treasures. My work is my legacy.”

Information provided by Sheri DeCew, researcher after interviewing Diane Schefferly.

Button Details

  • Maker: Diane Shefferly
  • Circa: 1979 - 2014
  • Processes: scrimshawengravingprocesses?
  • Subjects: Storybook, Fairy tales, children, animals and later branched out in all directions.