Like making, glazing can be addictive for Tessa. She has taken forward and expanded upon her knowledge and in-depth glaze research that was carried out during her Masters at the Royal College of Art. She continually spends time researching and testing numerous glazes in order to produce her expressive ceramic sculptures. She aims for glazes to awaken gratification of the physical senses and selects colours and surfaces for their blending and clashing qualities. Tessa’s glazes enhance the harmony and discord of the sculptural arrangements. Equally through use of rich colourful glaze and three dimensional forms intensity is embraced so as to transport the viewer into another dimension. The arousing and soothing qualities of the glazed surfaces reflect the fluidity of human sensations. Through glaze, her sculptures become animated and they provide room for contemplation on impermanent states of existence.

Glaze TestsGlaze tests

Each coloured glaze is made up of a recipe using various balances of mineral constituents. There are vast variations, and accidents can provide for exciting effects, provided they are recorded. Tessa has a glaze archive, some are kindly shared by fellow makers and others are specially developed recipes. The archive is always a work in progress and includes glazes at earthenware and stoneware temperatures, many of which produce unpredictable effects.

Many of Tessa’s glazes crawl, a condition that occurs by accident when glaze is applied too thickly, or there is too much water in the mix which causes it to separate into islands when drying. Her glazes are purposefully intended to crawl and depend on ingredients with an extremely small particle size which reduces movement, encouraging shrinkage. The islands can be large or small and different colours can be produced by layering glazes.

Tessa’s coral-like surfaces depend on balances of ingredients which at certain temperatures produce chemical reactions, causing gases to escape in the glazes. Varying glazes will either produce a smooth textured bumpy effect, or a moon-like surface with holes that one can see into. Colours can alter within glazes, especially when oxides are added. Her carefully recorded glaze recipes inspire and assist with the further advancement of work.


Tessa applies glazes using various methods such as spraying, dipping and pouring, but most typically brushing. She aims to avoid spraying toxic materials into the atmosphere and tends to do this only when pieces have deep internal spaces where she is unable to reach inside. She more often brushes glaze as this allows for different glazes to be applied on a piece and is more economical so that smaller batches can be mixed. She stabilises work in the kiln using stilts that she makes by hand. Work is fired on clay trays to prevent sticking to kiln shelves and adequate space is left between pieces to avoid work sticking together when the glaze melts.