Tess Neill Ceramics

I am a Canberra based ceramicist and sculptor whose love of ceramics started in my final years of high school studying Art. I discovered that working with clay, its texture and earthiness is very grounding and encourages mindfulness. For many years ceramics was relegated to a hobby until I settled in Canberra in the early 2000’s and discovered the wonderful community at Canberra Potters. I learnt the technical skills of working with clay to realise my creative expression.

I delight in creating whimsical, textural sculptures of predominantly Australian animals and birds. As a child I spent many hours with my family roaming beaches and bushland observing wildlife, creating vivid narratives reading stories with animals or fantastical creatures as central characters. As a result, children’s book illustrations, narratives, photographs of animals, and birds inspire the playfulness of my most recent sculptural work. I use oxides, underglazes, clear glazes, inks and wax to develop character and whimsy in my sculptural work.

I often use reclaimed wood to mount pieces, treating the wood with beeswax to highlight texture and nourish the wood. I follow sustainable practices by reusing and reclaiming clay, and typically firing pieces at lower temperatures.

I hope my pieces spark as much delight in others as I experience when bringing a piece “to life”.