Tessa is a London based sculptor committed to hand-building in clay. She has worked as an assistant to renowned ceramicist Kate Malone and teaches at Heatherley’s Art School.
Tessa produced a fresh body of work that grew out of her MA at the Royal College of Art where microscopic structures are observed before developing curious ambiguous sculptures. She aims to fix fleeting cloud states which represent the ideal and the perishable, signifying doom and fantasy.
The strange otherworldliness of natural phenomena transports Tessa away from the mundane and she is excited when growth patterns mutate to produce tension and form seems alive, evoking awareness of life’s impermanence.
Voluminous clouds are juxtaposed with mesh structures revealing internal space. This internal/external relationship presents the void as a life force.
Time is devoted to glaze research. Equally through rich glaze surface and three dimensional forms, pieces develop depth of character.
CERAMIC REVIEW MASTERCLASS ‘What I love about ceramics is that one can make something permanent from an intangible material that bends and moves just like forms in nature’. Tessa Eastman discusses the inspirations and procedures behind her sculptures, which combine slab-building, press-moulding and coiling. See the full masterclass in Ceramic Review issue 297. Film by Layton Thompson for Ceramic Review.
CREATE DAY Award-winning British ceramic sculptor Tessa Eastman explains why she prefers to hand-build, using age-old forming methods to create her Baby Cloud Bundles. This film was produced by Cluster Crafts, an organisation supporting professional practitioners. It features the artist in her studio and at Cluster’s headquarters for London Craft Week’s Create Day. Film by Ahmad El Mad for Create Day.
CURE 3 INTERVIEW Through her contribution to the Cure 3 exhibition, Tessa Eastman explored the connotations surrounding clouds. She created ‘Purple Midnight Baby Cloud Bundle’, an uncanny sculpture which appears almost alive and moving. The juxtaposition of the rigid, transparent cube and the seemingly formless coloured shape, echo the instability of human emotions. Film by Dan Fontanelli for Cure3.
SPROUTING LIMITLESS CLOUD ‘Sprouting Limitless Cloud’ was created in response to the Dutch Golden Age painting ‘Haarlem’ by painter Jacob van Ruisdael where the ceramist admires the skill and tonal qualities present and there is an air of optimism along with obscurity due to the fact the horizon lowers to the bottom third of the canvas revealing a large expanse of sky. Film by FBC London.
STRANGENESS IN NATURE Strangeness in Nature offers a glimpse into the techniques and processes behind Tessa Eastman’s glazed ceramic sculptures. The film also conveys a strong sense of her aesthetics and influences. It is not quite like being in the same room of course, but in less than three minutes, the film is both entertaining and informative. Film by Great Scott Films.
YOUNG MASTERS PRIZE The Arts Club hosted Young Masters Prize ceramists Jo Taylor, Lucille Lewin and Tessa Eastman. In conversation with UK Crafts Council’s Daniella Wells, curator Preston Fitzgerald and Cynthia Corbett, founder of the Young Masters Prize and director of the Cynthia Corbett Gallery – these three artists discussed their work, offering insight into their varied practises. The event was recorded as a podcast by After Nyne Magazine.