Showcasing My Collection: Enamel Pins, Volume One

Athena ScalziHello, everyone! I hope you’re all having a great Thursday, or whatever day it happens to be when you read this. Today I wanted to share with you something very important to me; my pin collection! However, since I have about eighty pins, I’m just showing you a couple of my favorites today, and save the rest for other days.

I don’t collect many things, but the things I do collect, I take very seriously. My enamel pins are some of favorite possessions, and I truly adore them. I don’t wear them on anything, though. I used to have them on my backpack for college when my collection was much smaller. Additional note before we begin, all these pins are enamel, I don’t really do button/safety pin type pins, just for aesthetic purposes.

A pin of clover flowers.

This one is one of my most recent additions! I had wanted to buy something from this wonderful artist for a long time, and this pin was the straw that broke the metaphorical camel’s back. I’m so glad I ended up getting it (I also got a tote bag that’s super cute). It’s just a clover, but I think it’s so dang pretty. You can find the artist’s shop where I bought this pin here! Also you can follow them on Twitter!

A pin with two cats in it, and the legend "Gem City Catfe," and all done in a gem shape.

This pin was actually one of the first in my collection, and remains as one of my favorites. I got this one at Gem City Catfe, a coffee shop in Dayton where you can drink coffee, play with cats, and even adopt one! It was such a fun experience, and I hope to do it again sometime soon. They have so many cute cats to interact with, and such a nice setting inside. If you’re from the area, I recommend it!

A bag of honey butter chips, with the wording in Korean.

When I was seventeen I played this dating sim on my phone called Mystic Messenger, and if you’ve ever played it you know what I mean when I say it’s absolutely bonkers. Just wild as fuck, honestly. But one thing I got out of it was the knowledge that there is a Korean snack called Honey Butter Chips, and they are so fucking good. I absolutely adore this chip, and when I saw this pin, I just had to get it (though I can’t remember where I got it and that’s a bummer). If you’ve never graced your tastebuds with Honey Butter Chips, I suggest you buy them immediately.

A pin of No face of Spirited Away, accompanied by pink flowers.

Another very recent addition to my collection! I’ve liked Studio Ghibli for a while now, and don’t really have any merch of it, which I thought was a bummer. So I decided to get this absolutely adorable No Face pin, since he’s like the coolest character from Spirited Away, and one of the most widely recognized Studio Ghibli symbols. You can check out the artist’s shop where I got it here, and their Twitter!

A pin of a blue and green luna moth.

Last, but certainly not least, is this gorgeous Lunar Moth pin my mom got me for two Christmases ago. This is one of the largest in my collection; in fact it’s so big it has two sharp things in the back to make sure it stays stuck into whatever you put it on. It’s so pretty, I was so happy to get it as a gift. You can find this artist’s shop here, but I don’t think this particular pin is available anymore! And here is their Twitter.

So, there’s just a glimpse at my pin collection! I hope you enjoyed.

-AMS

 

27 Comments on “Showcasing My Collection: Enamel Pins, Volume One”

  1. Applause for the Luna Moth pin. I hope you’ve seen the real thing.

    Distribution of the Luna Moth
    This moth species dwells only in North America. They live as far west as the Great Plains, and as far east as the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. In the United States one might find them from Maine, all the way down to Florida. In Canada, they live from Nova Scotia to Quebec and Saskatchewan.

  2. So, wherever you go you look for places to get a cat fix? Yeah, I’m a feline addict too.

  3. Have you ever collected any of the Disney ones? My daughter has quite a few and a lot of the characters and staff at the Disney facilities will trade you if you ask. Some are quite lovely. (in a corporate Disney sort of way)

  4. Thanks for sharing these! Very cool to hear the stories behind them.
    If you aren’t already aware of it, you may enjoy Madeleine Albright’s “Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box”

    As Secretary of State, she used pins to communicate messages, to the people she was meeting with, and to the broader public. Read My Pins is a small format coffee-table style book which is mostly photographs with text that describes the pins and gives some background and stories about them. The photography is really well done, and the variety she has is quite broad.

  5. Ooh, those are very nice. :)

    I try to display mine on a black hanging cloth (went to heavy canvas after a velveteen cloth wasn’t able to handle the weight)… but I’ve fallen way behind on mounting them, and I probably have more than the cloth will hold at this point.

    Most of mine are aerospace-related (Apollo and Shuttle mission pins, pewter replicas of famous manufacturers like North American Aviation, that sort of thing); but I do also have a number of Olympic pins, automotive/racing, some from the San Diego Zoo, a really nice one from the Library of Congress, and suchlike.

  6. As a cat lover who is also an avid gardener, I have to say I really love the selection of favorites that you showed us. There is a similar cat cafe here in Washington state in Tacoma, called Catfeinnated. Look it up if you’re ever in the area (not that you’ll be traveling any time soon, but you know…). I’ve seen some nice enamel pins for cheap in our local thrift stores, probably a good type of place to look for them.

  7. Your article prompted me to realize that enamel pin collecting is a worthwhile hobby.

    I have a Tomorrowland enamel pin on my college ID lanyard. By coincidence, George Clooney’s niece was taking classes at my small college at the same time that wearing ID’s was mandated. I would see her in the hallway and remember to get my ID.

    I bought the pin in Disneyland in 2016. The Force Awakens was released the year before and Star Wars took over Tomorrowland. I was annoyed because I was more into Tomorrowland than The Force Awakens.

    The clerk who sold it to me was a memorable character. I don’t remember her name, but I do remember her name badge said she was from Kashyyyk. When I was checking out, she said, “The pin works.” I touched the pin just like in the movie. “See,” she said, “you’re in Tomorrowland.”

    I never noticed until now how many memories can be in one little pin.

  8. I’m also an enamel pin collector! And we are living in a golden age of enamel pins, I’m so thankful! The artist that created the Luna Moth pin ran a pin club for few years so I have so many lovely ones created by them. Thank you for sharing! I am really looking forward to seeing the rest of your collection. 🙂

  9. Nice! I used to have a large collection of McDonald’s pins from my time there. Used to wear them in my cap.

  10. Those are so fun, thank you for sharing them with us. Looking forward to seeing more :D

    When I win the lotto I am starting up a cat cafe.

  11. I love enamel pins! And enamel jewelry in general. I once had a very simple black enamel ring I bought on a trip to Russia – I had it for more than 20 years before I somehow managed to lose it while wearing it one day…still haven’t gotten over it. (Man, I really loved that ring…)

    Anyway – bonus points for the Studio Ghibli pin – I’d love to get a Totoro one.

  12. Those are lovely! I adore enamel jewelry; my mother had a cloisonné horse pendant that I constantly borrowed when I was a bit younger than you. I really should look into acquiring some more enamel, although my personal vice is earrings. Thank you for sharing and I hope to see more of your collection in the future!

  13. It was outside my comfort zone, pins not something I ever understood in terms of fashion, so your piece was a good thing.
    Going to need keep trying to expand horizons even if rarely getting outside.

  14. Hm… I wonder if there’s a Flickr/etc. group devoted to sharing pin images? (There’s got to be one, right? If not, maybe we should start one?)

  15. Someone mentioned the special pin in Tomorrowland. Good movie; such a shame it wasn’t better. If I was a film studies teacher I would have my class figure out how to improve the show. (because I don’t know, but I wish I did)

    By the way, in the U.K. pins are called badges.

  16. I went to the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. I got some great pins.
    Opening Ceremony Pin is my most rare.
    It came with the ticket. No other way to buy one.

    I volunteered as a security guard, somebody left it behind in the Satidum.
    Very fond memories.

  17. I really appreciate that you link to the artists. I love enamel pins too, though I’m not a collector, and I’m super excited to look through theses links, yay!

  18. I love that the Honey Butter Chip words are just phoneticized and not translated.

  19. My favorite enamel pin artist is Bill Spears. Everything from puffins (he’s Alaska-based) to skulls and chromosomes. Even a Checkerspot butterfly to go with your lunar moth (see the New Designs section). He makes most of his designs as zipper pulls, as well, which means you can make your hoodie or coat extra fun this fall!

    https://wmspear.com/catalog.php

  20. My sister hung a piece of burlap on her wall to display earrings and pins. It’s so nice to actually look at them, play with and rearrange them, even if we don’t have a chance to wear them out and about these days.

  21. I recently got into enamel pins myself! They are so fun, and an inexpensive way to get a piece from an artist you love. I really like your luna moth one. I display mine on those pre-made canvases you can get at the craft store, covered with flannel. My second one is almost full so I will have to make a new one soon. Pins are addicting!

  22. Always interesting to see people enjoying an art form you weren’t ever really aware of before. My mom had some antique cloisonné but not small enough to wear.

    Pretty things are always cool!

  23. Seconding the recommendation for Madeleine Albright’s Read My Pins – her collection is interesting and I like her explanations of the messages she was sending when she wore them.

    I still have some of my favorite pins from my childhood & teens, and wear them occasionally. I’m also not immune to buying one from time to time – sometimes new, like the cute Jedi of the Sea pin from DesignsbyMyranda (she’s since closed that shop and her current offerings are much darker) or something from a thrift shop or garage sale.

    Unfortunately when I use a backpack, it tends to get treated in a fashion that is not good for the survival of pins on it; I’ve lost a couple that way. :(