Cute as a Button
Sabrina’s quirky & witty take on haute cuisine.
Sabrina Lee was not someone particularly familiar with miniatures. She did like cute & tiny things like many people do, but that was as far as it went. Sabrina is currently studying architecture in London & back in her 1st year, she needed to make a scale model of a restaurant. It just so happened she had stumbled across a haberdashery shop which had immediately fascinated her & she began using the materials she had bought from the shop to represent food & objects in her scaled down restaurant.
Architecture is a creative science, but it is hard to ever design something totally ‘new’, so Sabrina had been trying to find a creative outlet that she could enjoy alongside her studies. Nothing seemed to inspire her until she started her button food & once she started, she just couldn’t stop.
When she first began this unusual craft, she was easily inspired in a haberdashery shop by the range of materials she saw, like the white button with a burnt edge that looked like a fried egg, but as time went on, inspiration started to come from food she had eaten & seen in Instagram posts. She would then scour the shops to find the correct materials & colours to make her new dishes. She never forced herself to create a new plate button, she had to have the inspiration first.
I want people to feel the playfulness and sense of humour, to have a moment of guessing what the dish is before recognising it. A balance between realistic and abstract is what I try to achieve.
As she makes more of her plates of food, her main challenge is how to attach the materials together elegantly. She has minimized the use of glue & although she had not sewn before, she is trying to improve her skills to make her plate buttons perfect.
The craft also makes me relax and forget about my other troubles. Last year, I was often stuck with my school project feeling miserable. Working on Plate Button was such a perfect activity for me to focus on something else and regain happiness, even confidence.
Plate Button will always just be a hobby for Sabrina, but she is currently turning some of her creations into pins & rings, so that people are able to wear her work. Getting a commission from someone who admires her work would be a milestone for her!
We were lucky to have a small display of Sabrina’s work at our last show in December.
You can follow Sabrina on Instagram @platebutton.