• Jasperware by Marie LaBarre Bennett

    The full article is available in the September 2021 bulletin of the Washington State Button Society.

    Marie attended her first meeting of the WSBS shortly after coming to Seattle in 1944, and became a member of State and also Seattle Group No. 1.  She was President of Seattle 1 in 1949-50 and President of State in 1957-58.  She also served as Director of National for 3 years.  She exhibited in the 1946 Show in Seattle and also in National over the years.

    Gene O’Brien loaned Marie Kate Greenaway buttons from which she made molds.  These porcelain ones in white Jasperware with the tinted figures and faces were some of her very first examples of buttons.  She did not make many of these as she said they were far too tedious to do.  Marie experimented for several years before she found the clay she liked best.  She finally found “Newalls clay” from California best suited for her porcelain from which her Jasperware is made.

    In the Spring of 1953, Marie showed Gene O’Brien some beautiful blue and white buttons that Gene thought to be Wedgwood.  When she turned them over to look for the Wedgwood mark, she found none and Marie told her she had made the buttons.  Gene bought some of these buttons and sent some to the late Lillian Albert, who was Editor of the National Button Bulletin.  When Mrs. Albert showed these buttons to a Mr. Hensleigh, manager of the New York Wedgwood Office, he first thought they were early Wedgwood.  He suggested that Marie initial and date her buttons and not call them Wedgwood but rather “Jasperware in the manner of Wedgwood”.

    Gene O’Brien published her first article on Marie in “the National Button Bulletin” September 1953.  She also did an article for “Just Buttons” in 1967.

    Contributors: Inge Borland, Beth Schaut, based on June 1978 Washington State Button Society article by Polly Kirlin

    Button Specs