Tessa Beaver was born in London in 1932.
After gaining her diploma in painting at the Slade School, she spent a further year there working mainly in etching under John Buckland-Wright. She worked briefly as an illustrator and designer of book jackets before taking the post of art editor of children's books first at the Oxford University Press and later at Thomas Nelson's. In 1962 she resumed painting and printmaking whilst working with her husband on the Kenya-Ugandan border and returned to England in 1965.
Tessa Beaver's prints have been shown at the Society of Wood Engravers, the Royal Society of Painter, Etchers and Engravers, the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions and in Nairobi, Durban and Los Angeles.
In her later years she worked mainly in etching and held one-man shows at the University of Warwick, the Lantern Gallery in Manchester, St. Michael's Gallery in Derby, the Quadrangle Gallery in Oxford and the Mignon Gallery in Bath.
She developed techniques in etching in copper. Ten years work as a woodblock printmaker prior to returning to etching had given her a varied experience in the possibilities of relief printing and of using the natural textures of wood.