In Studio with Tessa Eastman, Ceramist MA (RCA)
I met Tessa way back in 2015 at an open day at her studio in West London. She had just finished her MA in ceramics and glass at The Royal College of Art, London and was able to assist me in a clay project of mine at the time. We stayed in touch and I followed her amazing progress and success over the years. This award winning ceramist is well known for her originality, skills and her continuous experimenting with shapes, inspired by organic forms and colour, creating unique sculptures from clay using various hand-building techniques.
I approached her to see if I could spend time with her in her studio to find out more about ‘life after a degree’, to experience an artist’s day to day life, pursue my interest in clay and perhaps assist with her current work.
So in September I joined her for 3 days at her studio at Cockpit Arts, Cockpit Yard, Northington Street, London.
During these three days I helped/assisted with packing and unpacking artworks, delivery of work to a gallery, dealing with clients who were picking up orders.
I lent a hand building shapes made out of clay in various sizes for her current sculpture, measured out tiny amounts of various powders for test glazing (an ongoing in depth investigation and experimentation by Tessa and of great interest to me) and documented results for future reference.
I also attended a workshop organised by Cockpit Art Studios: "How to pitch your work successfully".
During many conversations with this young artist I learned that it is very difficult to keep a healthy work: life balance. Tessa needs to teach 3 days a week to support herself which means limited time to get on with her own artwork. Keeping in touch with various galleries, previous and future clients, updating the website and other social media, applying to shows and exhibitions also means very long days almost every single day. Tessa also pointed out the importance of an appropriate workspace and being surrounded by other artists for emotional support and critical exchange.
My time with Tessa was very instructive and gave me valuable insight what it’s like to live the life of a working artist. The days were memorable, thank you Tessa.
SKILLS: ART HANDLING, ATTENTION TO DETAIL, COLLABORATING, PROBLEM SOLVING,LEARNING NEW SKILLS, time management.