Tessa Hunkin trained and worked as an architect until 1989 when she joined Emma Biggs at the recently founded Mosaic Workshop in Holloway, North London. Mosaic offered a way of developing a lifelong interest in colour and decoration while still working in an architectural context. The Workshop undertook a wide range of commissions for public and private clients, including Terence Conran, Baby Spice , the Sultan of Oman and Aston Villa football club.
In 2000 Tessa worked on the first of a series of commissions to fabricate mosaics for Westminster Cathedral. Working to designs by artists Christopher Hobbs, Leonard McComb, Ifor Davies, and Tom Phillips she and her team completed two side chapels, two apses and eight panels of individual saints.
As well as working on commissions Tessa and Emma collaborated on books about mosaics and their work appeared in various exhibitions.

In 2008 she began teaching at Workshop and Company, an organisation in Westminster that helped people recovering from mental health problems, and she also helped the service users to participate in a series of mosaic commissions including the entrance floor at the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen.
​This experience showed that it was possible to produce mosaics of very high quality as well as contributing to the well being of a group of vulnerable adults.  Just as mosaics are made up of thousands of pieces of different shapes and colours,  they can also be assembled by many hands and many individuals, each making their own individual mark. 
In 2011 she set up her own project in Hackney working with people in recovery from addiction problems. Although it was originally only funded for 6 months it proved so successful that it has been running ever since. It has expanded to include volunteers with other mental health problems as well as members of the local community and together they have created a series of impressive mosaics in Hackney and beyond.


More about the project at http://www.hackney-mosaic.co.uk
Earlier work by Tessa Hunkin at http://www.tessahunkin.com
More work and also all things mosaic at http://www.mosaicworkshop.com