I come from a family of artists, My mother and father established a well-known pottery in the 1960’s, later they separated ways but continued to live their lives as artists. My sister and my childhoods were deeply rooted in the craft world, traveling to exhibitions, watching the struggles or pre-exhibition preparations, listening to conversations about the delicate and complicated world of the social building blocks of the artists life. We were encouraged to draw and read, which we did a lot of, but we mainly roamed our large garden and churchyard next to our home, made camps, climbed trees while our parents worked. On their days off and after school we would go to the beach, more often than not with the tribe of family friends we had, swimming in the rain, late night BBQ’s and general mischief.  

I am one of these people that looks at rusty doors with peeling paint and broken things and just find them terribly beautiful. I like to think it is seeing perfection in imperfection or you could say, the broken is the beautiful. I like to carry this aesthetic into my designs, bringing irregularity to what could otherwise be seen as traditional design. I love the idea of making jewellery that will last many lifetimes, be passed down to loved ones and making an imprint on peoples lives.

Much of my unique take on this comes from my surroundings. I am in the privileged position to have been brought up in North Cornwall. The coastline is rough and rugged with hidden gems everywhere you look. The sea can either be bright and inviting as tropical seas or dark and moody, brewing for storms. The moors are baron at first glance but are rich in wildlife and plant life, and there we are lucky to witness the murmuration of the swallows on early winters eve as they settle for the night. We have woodland and waterfalls where the faeries gather, and magic comes to life.

My main source of inspiration, however, is definitely the coast. When you look closely at the rocks there are so many treasures. I love the quartz inclusions that run through the slate cliffs, the tiny barnacles all clustered together on the rocks, and the pebbles, well, they are in a league of their own. The turbulent Atlantic Ocean shapes them into the perfect example. The Cornish beach also comes with its very own colour pallet which you will also see come across in my work.

chloe michell at work in her jewellery workshop in north cornwall
chloe michell at work in her jewellery workshop in north cornwall

When I left school ended up working for Dad in his pottery as his decorator, I then had my babies, and when they were young, I learnt how to work with silver. I established the business in 2003 and was self-taught until 2012, when I embarked on a silversmithing and jewellery degree at Truro collage. I finished with a First Class Pass and have never looked back. I now have a purpose-built workshop close to my home and enjoy my days there doing what I was born to do … make beautiful things that bring joy.