Tessy M King is a stupendously versatile creative, with skills in both jewellery making and ceramics. After moving to Melbourne in 2011 to commence a degree in jewellery design, Tessy discovered ceramics quite by chance, and, as we tend to hear so often, was instantly attracted by the tactility of the medium. Tessy soon turned her full attention to ceramics, and is now in her final year of Fine Art at RMIT.
Tessy makes functional vessels as well as experimental sculptures in both clay and enamel.
Buyer’s remorse is a real thing. A little over a year ago I was shopping and saw this ornate looking ceramic trophy. It was spectacular. I imagined it presiding on the centre of every future mantel in every future house I would ever live in. Unfortunately someone else felt the same way because when I went back to buy it a week later it was gone. Heartbroken, I decided the best way to cure my buyer’s remorse was to find out who made this ceramic creation in the first place. My search led me to Tessy M King.
Originally from NSW, Tessy moved to Melbourne in 2011 to study jewellery design. Here she learnt the technical know-how of working with metals and enamel, but didn’t feel connected to what she was making. On a whim she enrolled into a short pottery course while continuing her studies, and applied the technical skills she had gathered from jewellery design to clay. The results were functional and decorative vessels and ikebana pieces she really enjoyed creating. ‘I wasn’t particularly good at throwing originally, but it was a really lovely distraction and change from working with such hard materials, to playing around with something so tactile’ says Tessy.
Switching to ceramics, Tessy is now in her final year of Fine Art at RMIT. Her work is characteristically ‘wonky’, and she makes a combination of hand built functional vessels alongside her more sculptural enamel pieces. The two mediums play into one another. Tessy will also often create pieces based on a collage or drawing that she will then turn into cardboard template, before transferring it to clay.
‘I love figuring out how a form, colour or surface can be translated from a collage, into something made out of metal, and then into clay. It’s fun.’
Earlier this year Tessy curated her first exhibition with fellow ceramicist Jessilla Rogers at Mr Kitly, and is presently developing pieces for an upcoming group show, and preparing for a trip around Australia. ‘We’ll be travelling the country, checking out wildflowers, taking photos, and collecting clay samples,’ she says. ‘When we return to Melbourne we’ll start making work in response to the trip. I can’t wait to see what comes out of the kiln.’