This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Tessy King · Sun Room

Craft

It’s ‘strangeness’ and ‘messiness’ over conventional beauty ideals for Melbourne-based maker Tessy King.

Today we revisit the studio of the now-graduated ceramicist to preview her latest creations, which feature in her exhibition Sun Room, on until May 27th at Craft Victoria in Melbourne.

23rd May, 2017

‘There is a hard transitional period following on from being inside an institution like RMIT,’ says Tessy. ‘Figuring out how to logistically make work, how to afford all of the materials and studio costs and how to find art/life/regular job balance has been the biggest challenge.’ Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Using white stoneware clays, terracotta or paperclay, Tessy sprays or paints a mixture of glazes in a combination of lustres onto her ceramics. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Melbourne-based ceramicist, Tessy King. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Experimental ceramics from Melbourne-based ceramicist Tessy King. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Tessy completed her Honours in Fine Art last year, and she reflects that this period of research as showed her the importance of mixing theory and practice. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Tessy applies details to ceramics in her home studio. These works are now on exhibit at Craft Victoria in Melbourne. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Elle Murrell
Tuesday 23rd May 2017

Tessy King‘s latest ceramics have seen her take up a self-directed challenge to push scale, and the possibilities of raw materials. The young maker’s wonderfully unusual ceramic vessels are about ‘finding balance in terms of strangeness’. As she  describes: ‘They aren’t particularly good-looking pots, but I’m interested in how these strange objects fit into beautiful spaces.’

The pieces make a resounding statement for the joys of ‘messiness’, showcasing Tessy’s preference for loose, almost unfinished forms. Using white stoneware clays, terracotta or paperclay, Tessy either sprays or paints on a mixture of glazes in a combination of lustres, which requires triple firing. ‘I like the idea of grotesquely decorated, ornate, messy spaces, and I think this sometimes comes through in the work,’ she adds.

Finding ceramics by way of jewellery and silversmithing, Tessy completed her Honours exegesis, Bedroom 2 last year. ‘A lot of my research looked at philosophical ideas around space and how identity, objects and space are linked,’ she explains.

The young maker found that these studies really challenged her creative approach, and have lead her in a new direction. ‘I started thinking more about why I make things and questioning whether my contribution to the world in the form of things is actually valuable,’ Tessy reflects. Practically speaking, moving outside the RMIT studio, where she had access to wonderful equipment and materials, has also proven a little tricky. Though, this hard transition has ushered in a period of intense growth.

Previously Tessy created more sculptural and slab built forms (as featured in our earlier post). This collection, however, employs a combination of coiling and ‘just squishing (technical term!)’ clay together. ‘These pots are very specific to last year, and now this year; I’m not sure what will happen later,’ she tells. ‘I’m way less precious now!’ – We’re eager to see what comes next!

Tessy King is currently exhibiting Sun Room at Craft Victoria in Melbourne. Her pieces are also available at Guild of Objects and Mr Kitly

View Comments

Similar Stories

Studio Visit

A Brisbane Artist Fusing Paper, Crochet + Porcelain In Her Sculptures

Liz Sofield fuses ceramics, paper and crochet in her highly original artistic practice.

Creative People

Keep Your Eyes On These 8 Emerging Makers!

These were some of our favourite creative newcomers in 2020!

Studio Visit

The Construction Specialist Turned Conceptual Sculptor!

Hailey Atkins' wobbly plaster sculptures are designed to make you say 'huh?'.
Sasha Gattermayr

This Week

Stays

Northern NSW’s Newest Holiday House, Made From Recycled Materials

Book your stay at Rockhaven at Booyong – a new holiday house made from recycled materials located 40 minutes from Byron Bay.

Modernist Australia

A Modernist Mansion Fit For A 'Contemporary Goddess'!

Designed by architect Iwan Iwanoff in 1959, this incredible home in Mount Lawley, Western Australia is on the market.
Patricia Callan
  Less than an hour ago

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Chrissy Lafian, Founder And Creative Director Of Suku

With teams in both Melbourne and Bali, Chrissy lets us in on how she runs the lifestyle brand she's built from scratch!

News

The Magic And Art Of Beekeeping With Honey Fingers

Mud Australia is hosting an exhibition and in conversation event with legendary urban beekeepers Honey Fingers, moderated by artist Stanisla...
Sally Tabart

Stays

These New Luxury Coastal Cabins On Phillip Island Really Raise The Bar!

A tour of Fives Acres, a brand new boutique accommodation offering on Victoria's rugged South Coast.
Lucy Feagins
  8 hours ago

Interiors

A Crash Course In Renovating Your Own Home From Top To Bottom, With BuildHer Collective

Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon of BuildHer Collective bring us a new book containing all the info you need to embark on building or ren...
Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon

News

A New Online Service That Designs Your Own Gallery Wall!

A new digital tool from Framefox allows you to build your own salon-style wall online, and have the final design delivered to your doorstep
Sponsored

Homes

A Heartwarming Home Of A Stylist (And Family!)

Justine and Bob Murphy's warm and welcoming family home is like a slice of the country... in Northcote!

Design Eye

Suzanne Gorman on Modernising a Mid-Century Home

Taking into account considerations of form, function and scale, interior designer Suzanne Gorman shares her design approach for mid century
Lucy Feagins
  24 hours ago

News

An Extensive Art And Design Festival Taking Over Brisbane!

Brisbane Art Design (BAD) is a public art program bringing the Sunshine State’s exemplary creative scene to the fore throughout the month
Sponsored

Studio Visit

Experimental Designer Jessie French Is Shaping A Seaweed-Centric Future

The Melbourne artist shares her process of creating seaweed-based bioplastics, the beautiful resin-like homewares she makes from it + what t...

Interiors

How To Nail The Bathroom Basics, According To Reece

A crash course in very excellent bathroom design, courtesy of bathrooms + kitchens merchandising leader at Reece Bathrooms, Daniella Santill...

On The Market

A Corner Store Turned Architectural Home Hits The Market In Brunswick

An 1883 shopfront turned architectural home with a pool and sauna is for sale in Brunswick!

Architecture

A Surprise Garden Brings This 'Pop-Up' Home To Life

Figr creates a unique language between architectural and landscaped spaces to truly maximise this small footprint home for a family of three...

Food

Julia's Autumnal Weeknight Rocket and Hazelnut Pesto Linguine

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's linguine with a herby rocket and hazelnut pesto is a riff on the classic weeknight family meal by adding earthy,
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Similar Stories

Studio Visit

A Brisbane Artist Fusing Paper, Crochet + Porcelain In Her Sculptures

Liz Sofield fuses ceramics, paper and crochet in her highly original artistic practice.

Creative People

Keep Your Eyes On These 8 Emerging Makers!

These were some of our favourite creative newcomers in 2020!

Studio Visit

The Construction Specialist Turned Conceptual Sculptor!

Hailey Atkins' wobbly plaster sculptures are designed to make you say 'huh?'.
Sasha Gattermayr

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.