Cool Friends: Michele Mirisola
March 3, 2023
|Meet Michele, founder of Chell Fish: a BK-based tableware line that is our current dinner party obsession. Michele’s pieces are created using real shells, held together by an air drying clay and decorated with gouache and food-safe resin. We love how a Chell Fish piece can dress up any dining table & had so much fun hearing about how the brand came to be. |
How did you start your creative tableware line, Chell Fish?
I made my first shell plate because I needed the perfect way to hold raspberries. I was working on a still life painting of fruit and sugar cookies. Up until that point, I had been exclusively painting from life. I wanted a hand in building the things I was making paintings of. During the lockdown, I couldn’t travel to my studio by train, so I was reimagining my materials–from oil paint to gouache. I used an air drying clay and still do, so I never need a kiln. The plate was more interesting to me than the painting it was created for! I added a food safe resin on top so that it could be used over and over again, and it took off from there.
What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?
I like that I can be reading an article in the New York Times about a young knitwear maker, and realize I had just met him yesterday at a craft fair. (Bailey Goldberg). Every artist who lived here in the ‘80s will tell you how much cooler New York used to be, but I’m sure they heard that from the artists of the ‘60s too. New York is ever-cool and always fun, no matter how much your family says, “I could never live there!”
What's inspiring you right now?
I’ve been doing my clearest thinking in the sauna at the Y lately. The only space where my phone isn’t two inches from my hand–nude and sweaty, I am thinking about food. I am inspired by the sensitive way Laila Gohar’s work holds fruit. I also love the grandiose style of 1600s Dutch paintings of tablescapes. I want to play with the area between art and food…I maybe just want to play with my food.
@chell_fish_nyc on Instagram