Cat Santos

Cat Santos has been a print maker since leaving Saint Martins in 1981, and had her own screen printing business for 30 years. About ten years ago she took up ceramics, and found how sympathetic the surface of clay is to taking print. She explores various techniques using slips, oxides and underglazes…and to add to the possibilities, uses a variety of clay surfaces, from smooth, white porcelain, to deliciously dark, black clay or heavy, textured, grogged clay.

In her printing business, it was important that all prints looked exactly the same, but in her more personal low-tech experimental ceramic printing, what she likes is the inevitable unique details of each piece.

Unlike printing on paper or fabric, the thrill of ceramics is the transformation of the materials in the kiln. Of course one gets to predict pretty well how the various materials will interact with each other and the heat, but there are always some surprises, and that’s what she likes; it’s as if some other hand has put the final touch to her work.

Her imagery is often about people in spaces, the scale of our environment, and she tries to capture moments of the wonder it is to live on this earth, and the struggle to comprehend all that science is teaching us about ourselves and our world…but not always is such a serious way…in an age-old ceramic tradition, she does like to add some humour to my images!