I have known Sheila Meyer, founder of One World Button Supply Co., for a long time and I am continually fascinated by her stories about the work she is doing in developing countries to help artisans design and create marketable products using their traditional skills and sustainable materials. Sheila always tells me that her favorite part of the job is working with the artisans, then meeting the people who use their products and thus facilitating the creative collaboration between them. Recently, Sheila traveled to Guatemala to work with the members of a family who make some of the wooden buttons and pins she sells and had the pleasure of showing them their shawl pin on the Ram's Head Jacket in Norah Gaughan's book Knitting Nature. Upon her return to the States, Sheila shared this wonderful photo with Norah and me.
Sheila explained to me that everything this family makes (pins, buttons, and puzzle boxes) is crafted from "found wood," tree limbs picked up from the forest floor and milled locally. Here's a photo of the jacket with the shawl pin on it. The pin is slightly obscured by the necklaces but you can still see how beautiful it is.