Jacqueline Cullen is a designer maker specialising in contemporary Whitby jet jewellery. Whitby jet is a prehistoric black fossil ca. 180 million years old and most commonly associated with Victorian mourning jewellery. The trend for wearing jet jewellery was started by Queen Victoria when she went into mourning for Prince Albert. Mined during its heyday, Whitby jet is now rare. Jacqueline’s supplier abseils down the cliffs on a rope collecting raw samples from the disused mines and ancient caves.
Jacqueline has developed innovative processes and formats that celebrate rather than disguise the inherent flaws and inclusions of Whitby jet allowing the natural beauty of the material to speak for itself removed from connotations of death, grief and morbidity.
Jacqueline is inspired by dramatic acts of nature, a placid sky ripped open by a slash of lightening, a volcano erupting, a cliff edge left jagged from erosion. Even in the act of immense destruction, nature can create something infinitely beautiful. Hiatuses inform her aesthetics and the interruption or breaking up of a bold, fluid form is central to her work where fractures, fissures and crevices release a luxurious cascade of textured gold or glittering diamonds.