Tessa Blazey is a contemporary jewellery designer & maker from Melbourne, Australia. After receiving her first crystal as a gift as a teenager from a visiting friend of the family, she has taken inspiration from natural geometry, crystals and mineral structures and often uses these themes across her body of work. She was kind enough to spare some time to chat with me about her work.
You have an impressive resume of qualifications – as well as your Advanced Diploma in Engineering Technology (Jewellery) you also have Degrees in both Interior Design and Sculpture. Was there a specific moment you realised that you wanted to create jewellery or did the transition from each qualification happen organically?
I was very fond of the intimate and miniature scale of model making when practicing interior design so the transition into jewellery seemed a natural progression. I think the thing that links interior design and jewellery together is that they both frame the body at differing scales.
What is your favourite part of the jewellery creation process?
Finding extraordinary gem or mineral specimens is often a starting point for a piece. The inspiration for the work often stems from the specimen – its form and geometry of which will help me decide how to frame it within the work and the form of the work itself.
What is your favourite material to work with?
I have recently embraced the joys of working with wax – it is such an immediate, pliable and elastic material and very playful to work with. You can then cast your wax model in bronze, silver or gold.
You have collaborated with Australian fashion designer Alexi Freeman several times. What are your feelings on the relationship with fashion and fine jewellery?
I think they are both very complimentary – both jewellery and fashion frame and adorn the body. Its been great working with Alexi as we get to play with blurring the line between fashion and jewellery with each project we do together.
What is coming for Tessa Blazey in the next 6 months?
I am focussing on a new range of precious works at the moment – I recently bought the most beautiful trillion (triangular) cut emeralds and some exquisite black diamond beads so I’m playing around with a new range from each of them. I’m also still working with local rough diamond crystals (from the argyle mine in Australia). I’ve recently joined a lapidary club and am interested in learning the art of facting rough stones – the first of which are some uncut Australian sapphires I have had for a while. Thanks to my ArtStart grant from the Australia Council I was able to purchase a Facetron – stone faceting machine so once I have enough experience I will be able to facet stones in my studio. I am really enjoying teaching a jewellery elective class in the Interior Design department at RMIT currently and my students are doing some fantastic work. Alexi and I are also working on another jewellery/dress together for an upcoming exhibition at Craft Victoria called Signature Style.
Recommend one book, film and/or album that is inspiring you right now.
I recently re read one of my favourite novels The Corrections by Johnathon Franzen. I really enjoyed watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi and I am very much looking forward to seeing Wes Andersons new film Moonrise Kingdom.
You can visit Tessa’s website to view more of her impressive work and find out where to buy her creations.