Grace Tessein

Workexchange Artist - Past

The people and experiences at TCS make it one of the best places I've ever been a part of. There were so many opportunities to learn and grow as an artist. Coming to the studio just out of undergrad gave me a greater understanding of what it means to strive for a career in the arts, the work ethic it takes to be successful, and the strength of the ceramics community.


Clay is a material of memory, of preservation, and of heartbreak.

My current body of work is an examination of what remains of a person, looking to the objects they cherished most while contemplating the inevitability of their absence. It questions the futility of preservation in the measure of time, the failure of memories held in fragile containers, and the decay of the physical body. The materials that compose the sculptures are chosen for their innate longevity and their ability to evoke remembrance.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve collected objects as a connection to the past. These objects become proof of my existence and reveal a piece of my history. Even as an object invites recollection, the subject of the memory is never true or real again; the details are forever warped and fragmented by time. By using pieces of my personal narrative presented through the heirloom, souvenir, and relic, it is my intent that the viewer feels a connection to their own stories held within their cherished objects. I hope that they will reflect on what memories manifest in the belongings they collect and what objects may hold their presence after they draw their last breath.

Instagram: @gracetessein, @sugarjawspotter