Veronica Rönn grew up surrounded by beautiful things. Her mother was a painter and her father an antiques dealer. Her hometown of Lund is a place of dreamy spires and towers.
She spent her childhood trailing through auctions and antiques shops. Veronica thinks her future life was mapped out from an early age: “I’ve always looked back, antiques have always interested me.”Veronica’s captivation with ageing is visible in her ‘Artificial Cycle’ collection. Here the natural ageing process of furniture is scrutinised and experimented upon. Working on brass, Veronica employed a host of techniques to mimic atmospheric oxidation, a hundred different ways in which to produce the striking Verdigris.
She worked with wood that had slightly rotted to try and mimic what she regarded as the beautiful patterns of age, her goal to: “Bring something not considered very attractive into the spotlight and make it beautiful.” Veronica was brought up in an environment in which age was prized.
Tip-toeing around her father’s antiques shop instilled a reverence that turned into a preoccupation. She questions why some objects gain value with age whilst others tumble in worth. Her artificial ageing processes riff on the fact that antiques retain a strong currency in our society, yet few have the time to seek them out, or pause to give proper thought to why these objects are prized.
Veronica’s early education at a Waldorf school encouraged creativity and expression. The Waldorf system is known for side-stepping formal learning structures, its kindergartens are filled with tools and toys from simple, natural materials. Veronica remembers the sense of freedom it stimulated:
“It was very free, sort of like your own world”.
“My goal is to bring something not considered very attractive
into the spotlight and make it beautiful.”
“Simplicity puts the focus back on what you wish to display.”
At 21 she spent a year at Ölands Folkhoögskola Design on the small island of Öland. She lived there while studying sculpture, classical art, textiles, graphic design – an introduction to design. It was a place her mother also studied at the same age. Veronica then did a year at Nyckelviksskolan Arts and Crafts before starting at Beckmans College of Design. She had wanted to attend Beckhams since she was 14, the trouble was deciding what exactly she was going to study. “So many things are interesting to me and so many go hand in hand. This has been a weakness but also a strength.”
Stockholm is now home to Veronica. Like many young creatives in the city, Veronica has a full-time job in print-making that supports her independent work. From her class at Beckmans she thinks at most two former students work for themselves. Veronica’s own work is pursued in the evenings and at weekends. Veronica’s Pagurus glassware is pared back, designed to show off collections or objects to their full extent, they are accentuating vessels. When designing her glassware she was inspired by the seasonally-foraged collections popular in Sweden. “Simplicity puts the focus back on what you wish to display.”
Veronica is also intent on creating: “Though-provoking combinations that make people want to know more”This is demonstrated in the eye-catching ‘Lips’ where steel and concrete have been manipulated to appear soft and pillowy. The contrast between material and silhouette is stark – testing and fooling our anticipation of the furniture, a concrete shell in a pillow shape. Veronica’s diversity and reluctance to limit the scope of her work give this young designer a distinct edge.