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.
First class BA Honours Jewellery Design
Central Saint Martins
Commissions & Collections
Beyond Compare for Sobranie (Raw Beauty design route)
Two sets of luxury hand carved Whitby jet
and diamond art object containers
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Whitby jet accessories for Narcissa (played by Helen McCrory)
in Dragon’s Den
Two pieces from the Whitby jet and Swarovski crystal range
worn by Deborah Meadon throughout series 8 (BBC 1)
Alice and Louis Koch
Ring collection Switzerland
Private collection New York
Balvenie Masters of Craft
Winner in the stone carving category
Crafted/Walpole: mentoring by Georgia Fendley
Brand Director for Mulberry
Arts Council Grant
Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST)