Tessa set up her first studio in 2005 in an old Gas Works building in West London. In 2015, she joined Manifold, an East London collective founded in 2010 by a group of emerging artists and designers from The Royal College of Art. In 2017 she was granted a space at Cockpit Arts in Deptford, the UK’s only business incubator for craftspeople. In 2018 she moved to Cockpit Arts in Holborn where she shares a ceramics studio.

The name ‘Cockpit Arts’ derives from the site in which the Holborn incubator is situated. Cockpit Yard was originally an eighteenth century cockerel fighting arena. In 1745 it was taken over by a cabinet maker and so its roots as a place for ‘craft’ began (see history). Cockpit Arts houses up to 170 small businesses at the centres in central and south London. It supports craft practitioners at the start of their careers, as well as those who are more established, to grow and build successful and thriving businesses both in the UK and internationally. Cockpit Arts work with a wide range of talented individuals, including master craftspeople, artist-makers, batch producers and more scalable businesses.

Cockpit Arts run business incubation services, on site business coaching and business support workshops, selling and promotional opportunities, as well as referral to specialist advisors and access to finance.

Since opening in 1986 when it began as 5 starter units, Cockpit Arts has helped thousands of talented makers grow their businesses, many who have gone on to achieve national and international success. The business incubator model is proven to work and the impact reports are positive, showing higher than average economic outcomes as well as social and cultural impact.

Cockpit Arts Open Studios happen twice a year. Visit Cockpit Arts Open Studios to meet the makers and see behind the scenes.

Studio Tours are available for educational purposes and other interested groups.

There is a real danger that without intervention, the traditions, history and values that come with the preservation of craft will be left behind. Your support enables the best in British art, craft and design to succeed and thrive. Here are ways to support Cockpit Arts.