Tessa Wallis


Tessa Wallis


Sculpture is my passion and I cannot resist the lure of materials that start soft and malleable and become hard and durable when cast, fired or hammered. Although the strength and versatility of bronze is always appealing, especially for life size statues, I find the potential range of colour and surface treatments using ceramics irresistible. Glass and the smooth surface of enamelling on metal is also enticing and I enjoy the exacting processes required to produce worthwhile outcomes. I am excited at the prospect of silver smithing, especially casting small objects in precious metals. I aim to continue developing my creative skills for as long as possible.




Tessa Wallis is an Australian Artist who, for more than two decades, has created unique  sculptural works for public monuments,  industry,  theatrical  productions, veterinary devices,  educational institutions and private  clients.  For many years, she  was largely self- taught and worked hard to develop her expertise  in her small business  Masks & Puppets Plus.

Tessa has established an International reputation as a mask maker and supported herself in the process. For nearly three  decades she has designed and created custom built masks for performances around Australia as well as internationally in New York, Georgia, North Carolina, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Singapore.   She has a natural talent for sculpting facial  expressions and body language  which helps brings her creations to life.  Her expertise with likenesses and caricatures complements her ability to convincingly interpret two- dimensional images into three dimensional forms.

Developing sculptural skills through mask making fostered an understanding of the use and application of materials, modelling and mould making, all of which helped broaden her horizons..  Whether building a larger than life size bronze statue,  sculpting glass panels or designing and mass- producing polyurethane trophies, she is equally confident. She has made two different emblems for pre- war Morris Cowley vehicles and at present she is concentrating on small objects using precious metals, gemstones and enamelling.

Tessa is adept at interpreting a brief and carrying her ideas  through to  completion. She  won several bronze commissions  by submitting maquettes of her original ideas.

After studying ceramics  part time at the Carton Arts Centre and Holmesglen TAFE from 2007 to 2013, she enrolled at RMIT University  graduating with  a  Bachelor of Arts  (Fine Art)  in  2017.


Installations  and  Commissions




2015                                                            Larkin Family ~ Private Collection

2015                                                            Reg Lindsay Standing Tall ~ East Cessnock Bowling Club

2014                                                            Toad Emblem ~ Morris Cowley, Private Collection

2013                                                            The Man from Ironbark ~ State Library of Victoria

2013                                                            The Oldmeadow Memorial ~ State Library of Victoria

2011                                                            Scorpion Trophy ~ Private Collection




2017                                                            Golden Hands necklace

2017                                                            Lyre Bird vessel, Leafy sea dragon vessel, Thorny Devil vessel

2017                                                            Seven Deadly Sins ~ Private Collection

2013                                                            Human Hands in Reproduction, Adaptation and Evolution ~

Holmesglen TAFE Collection

2010                                                            Bookworms         ~Kew Library




2018                                                            Snail Girl Mascot ~ Private Collection

2011                                                            Emblem of the Rats of Tobruk ~ Private Collection



2008                                                                                                                  Wine Bottle and Grapes  – Glass Panels ~ Australian Consolidated Industries

 Green and Gold – orb with sgraffito in gold leaf.




2010                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lou Hubbard Rubber Horse,  life size ~ACCA


Polyurethane:                                                                                   City Trophies~ 200 custom masks Suncorp Metway



2018                                                                                                                       MSWPS  Changing Perspectives ~ Victorian Artist’s society

2017                                                                                                                            RMIT Graduate Exhibition 2017

2016                                                                                                                           Around the table, First Site Gallery RMIT

2011                                                                                                                            The Tea Pot Tips ~ The Gallery Bayside Arts & Cultural Centre

2010                                                                                                                            New 101~ Collaborative Rubber Horse ~ ACCA

2010                                                                                                                            Albert Ullin Collection  and May  Gibbs ~ Dromkeen and Montsalvat

2006                                                                                                                            Meaningful Masks ~ Swiss Italian Festa ~ The Daylesford Convent Gallery

The first exhibition in which Tessa was invited to exhibit was The International Puppetry Exhibition at East & West Arts. This was followed by A Handful of Characters by the Performing Arts Museum at the Victorian Arts Centre, a vingnette of Tessa’s Punch and Judy show also at the Victorian Arts Centre. Tessa’s Masquerade Masks were exhibited in the foyer of the State Theatre. 

Media and Events


 Hey Hey It’s Saturday Anniversary Show ~Australian Salmon ~ Latex

Logie Awards~  Disney World, Florida ~Squeaky Gold Logie ~ Latex

Scooby Doo ~ Sea Monster Mask ~  Latex ~

Opening of San Marco and Venice ~ Masquerade ball, Great Hall, NGV ~600 individually handcrafted masks

Ottoman Medici Ball  Australian Chamber Orchestra , Parliament House NSW~Masks designed and handcrafted ~

Heart Research Foundation Halloween Dinner,~  Great Hall, University of NSW~Masks designed and handcrafted

Trophy masks ~ Suncorp Metway ~ 200 painted polyurethane

 Jeans for Genes ~ 300 individually designed and realised masks

Melbourne International Flower Show ~  Gold Medallion for Best Display

 Athenaeum Club Winter Masquerade Ball ~ First Prize winning Mask

Northcote Trader’s Association Masquerade Ball ~ First Prize winning Mask

North Broken Hill Mining Masquerade Ball ~ First Prize winning Mask

Unmasking of Southgate ~ Mask for Lady Mayoress

Grant Thornton Accountants Christmas Card with 40 Penguin masks

“Poe” movie, Andrew Golden Producer, Los Angeles ~ Mask

Tribeca Arts Festival New York ~ Masks

Slipknot Tribute and Red Paintings ~ Rock ‘n Roll masks


Theatrical Productions


Alice in Wonderland      Melbourne Shakespeare Company 2018                           Ripponlea

Twelfth Night                                     GJ Productions. 2018                                                Fairfield Ampitheatre

Servant of Two Masters               Comme Arte  Fo 2013                                              Melbourne University Theatre

CeCe                                                      Comme Arte Fo 2014                                               Melbourne University Theatre

Moonshadow                                    Cat Stevens          2012                                               Princess Theatre


Tessa has supplied masks and puppets for more than 30 School Productions, with performances  of  Greek mythology and Arthurian Legends as well as modern plays;

 Pinocchio,  Beauty and the Beast, The Tempest, The Hypochondriac, Pendragon, Arthurian Legends, Mulan Junior, Into the Woods, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Rhinoceros, Medusa, Antigone, Lysistrata, The Daughters of Venice, Chariots of the Gods, Smurfs on the Run, The Visit, The Greeks, Just Eat It, The Dance of Death, Variations on Leunig, The Witches, Smurfs on the Run, Christmas pageant, Gobble and Gerp, Animal Farm, Punch and Judy, Commedia dell’ Arte, Shakespearian Legends, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Alice in Wonderland.


Attached artworks:

Reg Lindsay Standing Tall, bronze by Tessa Wallis. Photo Ric Wallis

Human Hands in Reproduction, Evolution and Adaptation. Porcelain. By Tessa Wallis. Photo: Ric Wallis.

Larkin Family, bronze. By Tessa Wallis. Photo: Ric Wallis

Oldmeadow Memorial, bronze. By Tessa Wallis. Photo: Ric Wallis

Snail Girl emblem, manganese. By Tessa Wallis.

The Man From Ironbark, bronze. By Tessa Wallis. Photo: Ric Wallis