Louise Tessing/Metalsmith
About the Metalsmith
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I was born in Chicago and encouraged to create by an artistic family involved in theatrical and wedding couture. My first love was fashion and costume, and although not chosen as a career, the rich fabrics, trims and jewels, detailed design, and draping became a large part of my appreciation of personal style and sophistication.

I chose a design/communication education, and have a B.S. in Visual Design from the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology.  The high quality/high creativity approach of the Bauhaus philosophy of combining craft and technology is a lesson I have carried into my work as a graphic designer, and now into my jewelry.

As a co-owner of Tessing Design Inc. for 35 years, I desired a business mindset with my clients, hence I completed my Masters in Business Arts, specializing in Marketing at the Loyola University Quinlan Graduate School of Business.

After a beginning design position with the Field Museum, I began to appreciate anthropology. It inspired me to travel the world, with my husband, Arvid, reveling in the art and artifacts of ancient and modern cultures.  Jewelry has always been a special interest and I have collected both valuable and simply intriguing pieces. A later job with Playboy Enterprises pulled me back into costume and fashion.

Over the last ten years I have mastered a wide range of metalsmithing techniques at Lillstreet Art Center Chicago: etching, fold forming, forging, repousse and chasing, wax carving and casting, with the goal of creating a unique expressive design blend for each new series of pieces.

Artists' Statement

"It is not an easy journey from paper to metal, from two dimensions to three, but somehow I have always known the paths were parallel." 

I have been a Bauhaus-trained graphic designer for 35 years before devoting my full time to metalsmithing, and I find my lifetime work and creative influences perfectly inspire my new art.

With my Taurean love of the organic and tactile combined with my Aquarian awe of technology and structure, I envision an exploration of tension and contrasts in my jewelry creations. Richly textured surfaces will combine with organic structural qualities, precious metals with found objects, gems with non-precious metals and plastics, tribal design with new architectural forms, but all created with an eye to the sensual and dependent upon the magic of serendipity.


Photo Credits: Arvid Tessing and Guy Nicol