Tessa is a printmaking artist who uses the intaglio technique collagraph to create her images. Tessa’s work is very much influenced by the natural world. Tessa grew up in the countryside and spent a lot of her childhood in fields and forests, it is the joy of these surroundings and being immersed in the miniature world of plants and insects that has stayed with her throughout her life as an artist.
Tessa rarely starts with a rigid idea of how an image will look; she often works directly on the plate and lets the materials lead her. Tessa enjoys the excitement and freedom of working like this, until a composition appears – often a sort of imaginary landscape. She use’s a mixture of dry point and collagraph techniques, her plates are made from card which she draws into with a knife, sometimes tearing it, then adding simple things like wood glue, sellotape, masking tape, and sometimes carborundum grit (a fine sand). These give different textures and gradients of dark and light when inked up and rubbed away. All of her work is printed on Somerset paper, using an etching press. The fragility of the plates means the editioning is kept short and she often make unique one-off prints.
The pebble series started as a present for her mum, who had recently moved to Cornwall. Every time Tessa visited she came home with many beautiful pebbles, all collected from one particularly amazing wild beach. Each composition is unique as she likes to vary the pebble arrangement each time she makes a print.
Tessa studied Fine Art Printmaking at Cambridge School or Art from 1999-2001 and was awarded The Joseph Webb A.R.E Commemorative Fund Award by The Royal Society of Painter Printmakers, for an outstanding etcher under the age of 35, in 2010. Tessa lives and works in St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex.