Mesh Studio
What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.

Mesh Studio  is an art and design brand and studio based in Brighton and run by Marcelina Amelia, who uses various different mediums to create and sell artwork. We caught up with Marcelina at her studio in Hove to find out more about her and the art of running an independent studio and brand.

 

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HOW DID MESH STUDIO BEGIN LIFE? 

Mesh studio came from my DIY approach. Rather than waiting for a dream commission to come knocking on my door I decided to do it myself. I needed an outlet for all of my ideas, as I have a lot of them but little time to see them through.

One day it just clicked in my head – “I need to start my own art brand”. This way I can publish my own magazines, collaborate with other people and basically bring to life all of the things I wish existed. I think I sometimes had a hard time describing myself or what I do as the way I work is very non-linear. Before I start a project I usually write a lot, I photograph, research, mood board, mock-up tiny models etc. and then decide which medium to use.

 

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So it all started over a year ago, I was toying with the idea and then suddenly I just decided to call it a MESH STUDIO as this is how my brain works. I combine all those different pieces of information coming from different mediums, meeting them in the middle to make a final pattern/piece.

It is still very early days but I’m very excited about the endless possibilities it could bring!

 

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IS ALL THE ARTWORK PRODUCED BY YOURSELF?

Almost. It is all designed by me but I have collaborated with a brand HEIHO on a range of flags and cosmetic bags that they have produced. And very recently I have invited my friend Kamila (silKKjewellery) to work on a jewellery line together and I’m very excited by the results!

It will launch online soon at www.mesh-studio.co.uk. But most things are handmade by me, I have someone helping with t-shirts, but I print all of my limited edition screen-prints on paper myself.

 

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WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE JOB/WORK?

I don’t want to sound cliché, but creating is like air to me. I just feel so happy that I can finally do it full time! I love making, and I love this feeling of excitement and freedom, I feel like I am in a state of endless possibilities.

 

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WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THEMES AND INSPIRATIONS IN YOUR ARTWORK?

My first line of t-shirts was heavily inspired by women’s empowerment. I seek inspiration everywhere; from my childhood memories to polish folklore to Catholic iconography. But mainly my inspirations come from my feelings. For me, feelings are difficult to convey in words.

My latest series are very much about wellness and self-acceptance. Mental health is an important subject for me too. But it is never too serious as I like the juxtaposition and contrast. For example, this is the summary of the story behind my latest screen-print ‘Sunbathing’: “I was sitting at the beach with my partner in crime, aka Wild Beaver, when we came up with this idea. Letting our bodies soak in the sun, we thought of the Broad City episode about seasonal affective disorder and it all clicked together. I’m still considering buying a ‘Sad Lamp’, all the while hoping this print will help me cure my seasonal depression.”

 

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DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVOURITE MEDIUMS/FORMATS?

Drawing is always a favourite for me, but I do also love screenprinting, it’s quite magical.

 

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WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO WHILE YOU WORK?

I love listening to podcasts, ‘Art for your ears’ by Jealous Curator is my favourite. I did have a phase of listening to podcasts about minimalism. I like audiobooks too, my recent reads include: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk by Danielle Krysa.

 

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WHY BRIGHTON?

I really like it here, it is calmer than London but has a lot of going on too. Also, it seems like people are about 80% happier here. I have a sponge personality so I do like to be surrounded by positivity and open-mindedness. I do love London but after 7 years of living there I felt like a tuna in a can.

 

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WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR MESH STUDIO?

Hopefully, it will grow and I will be able to do more and more! I’m hoping to expand, meaning more products, more collaborations, more events, more possibilities. My dream would be to have a studio/gallery space where all the magic would happen and people could come in/join.

 

 

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In conversation with Cin Cin’s David Toscano
The Italian Bar & Kitchen…

It’s an exciting time for our client Cin Cin. After a successful first year at their location in Vine Street, Brighton, they are opening a second, larger restaurant in Western Road, Hove.

The Italian Bar & Kitchen in Vine Street has already established itself as a leading restaurant in the area. In its inaugural year Cin Cin made it into the Good Food Guide and achieved the highest new entry at the Brighton’s Best Restaurant Awards when they were named 6th best restaurant in Brighton.

We went along to interview their founder, David Toscano, about his success and the exciting year ahead.

It’s been an exciting first year for Cin Cin and we hear that 2018 is about to get even better?! Tell us about the new restaurant opening in January? 

We really have had an amazing first year at Vine St but it’s time to spread our wings and raise the bar a little so we’ll be opening in Hove next month! We are building it now and every day I go in there, I get a little more excited for what we are about to bring to the food scene of our great city.

What’s the same and what’s different about the new place?

It will be a larger restaurant, it really couldn’t be any smaller than Vine St could it?! That said we have worked really hard to come up with a design that will be instantly recognisable as a Cin Cin restaurant so it will still be casual Italian dining on stools around a u-shaped bar with an open kitchen. But we will also have a private dining room for parties and events so we can bring the joy of Italian feasting to groups of our fantastic customers.

An illustration of the Western Road shop front

Will your head chef, Jamie Halsall, be based at Western Road or Vine Street? 

Jamie is very excited about the new restaurant, sometimes I feel like I’m only designing it to make him happy! But seriously, we are very conscious that people love Vine St and of course we do too, so one thing that is very important to our whole team is that we do not leave Vine St behind or let our standards drop there. So for that reason Jamie will be working across both sites with his expanded team of chefs so we can maintain and hopefully raise the standard of Italian cooking that Brighton has come to expect from Cin Cin.

Chef Jamie Halsall (left) & David Toscano (right) outside Vine Street

Tell us about the menu ideas you have for Western Road? 

Well we don’t want to give it all away but one big improvement will be that we will have a charcoal robata style grill which will mean we can put our Italian spin on great meat, fish and vegetable produce. Look out for dishes like Sussex lamb rump on Castelluccio lentils, celeriac & salsa verde. We’ll also have a prep kitchen downstairs at Western Road that will service both sites which means the types and quality of pasta we will be making is going to get better and better.

Anything else we should look out for? 

The private dining room is give us a lot of opportunities to host events with our suppliers – wines & vermouth, meats & cheeses etc. – and long term, we’d like to be able to sell take home packs of our handmade pasta shapes. Watch this space!

When is launch planned? 

The restaurant should be built by end of December, with soft openings second week of January and press nights the following week before we open the doors to the public.

Plans for the future? 

Right now we want to get this right and give Hove a real Italian that it can be proud of. But we love what we do so we want to keep taking it to as many people as we can so we’ll look for more opportunities in the next few years.

You don’t have to wait until January to sample the delights of Cin Cin. Book your place at their Vine Street Italian Bar & Kitchen by calling 01273 698 813. And be sure to keep up with all the exciting news about their new restaurant by signing up to their newsletter and following them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.