Busy Beaver: Why did you start collecting buttons?
Tiber Scheer: Early on as a youth, in the 70’s I was pretty sucked in by any kind of graffic art. My dad had a cork board that was always a revolving display of images which included a couple of buttons; a ‘no bozo‘s’ pin, a pot leaf, some political buttons. Those were probably my first introductions into wearable art.
I probably started collecting sometime in the 80’s, a prolific time for the tiny punk/new wave button. There were vending machines around that had these horribly rad enamel pin back buttons. I had this one Billy Idol one that looked nothing like him, it was great. During the 90’s while playing in bands, I wondered why no one did buttons anymore.
A friend told me about a place called Li’l One Inch Button Co (which later became Busy Beaver Button Co.), I made some buttons and it kinda re-ignited my love for buttons. I’m always on the lookout at second hand stores, estate sales, wherever. I enjoy giving choice finds to friends too.
BB: How many buttons are in your collection?
TB: Probably around 250 or so, I have more but they don’t currently fit or are permanent fixtures on clothes.
BB: How do you store and display your buttons?
TB: They’re on a kinda felted presentation board, not quite cork but I need to move them to something larger so I can display them all. I best like to display them by wearing them.
BB: What is your favorite button?
TB: Probably a three way tie between: a Ramones button with C. Jay instead of Dee Dee cause it makes me look like a poseur and everybody has a Dee Dee button, a Joe Jackson pin from the Night and Day album and any of the buttons of my kids. I make buttons of them for their birthdays, friends and family love them.