Veronique Pullen’s jewellery is inspired by the English coastline and particularly our south coast. Prior to discovering jewellery she worked as a marketing manager for a film and TV company in London. When she had her children and moved to St Leonards on Sea she decided to delve into something completely different and signed up to an afternoon class in jewellery making at Sussex Coast College. “I had a great time at college, was taught by some amazing craftspeople, met a new, wonderful and incredibly supportive tribe, and really thrived in exploring new materials and techniques”. Veronique graduated in 2011 with a degree in Contemporary Craft. During this time, she specialized in metals and became increasingly interested in the Hastings Fishing Fleet, which inspired her final show and continues to motivate her practice today.
The fishing fleet in Hastings is situated towards the far end of Hastings, in the Old Town, a is a maze of cobbled houses, independent retailers and wonderful eateries. The fleet is based on the Stade (an Anglo Saxon word for ‘landing place’), a relatively small area where around 25 working boats make up the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Britain. The fishing fleet were given the right, during medieval times, to use this area free of charge for their industry, and this still remains the case today. Each boat is no more than 10 metres long, meaning they can only travel just a few miles for their catches. As a result, the fleet has always fished in an ecologically sound way, using nets that preserve young fish, prevent overfishing and sustain healthy stocks.
“It’s a small yet incredibly industrious slice of our coastline, the colors, smells and sounds never disappoint. There’s always something going on at any point in the day and its contribution to the town is immense. My favorite time to visit is just before dusk, when it’s quieter, the colours more vivid, the light is soft and the detail really comes out. There’s a wonderful calm after the storm of a busy day atmosphere, you can still hear people tinkering away and see the odd boat on the horizon, which I always find incredibly peaceful and comforting”.
Veronique works from her studio in St Leonards on Sea. She works mainly in (Eco) sterling silver and uses oxides, precious stones and gold plate to accent pieces. The full collection can be seen at www.veroniquepullen.com and follow her on @veronique_pullen