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Catarina Nunes

Catarina Nunes Ceramicist
Portuguese, English
By appointment only
+351 914038414
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A new relationship with ceramics

  • • Catarina's work has an aesthetic or conceptual link to her surroundings
  • • Her work is influenced by the time she spent in Japan
  • • She teaches ceramics at an art school in Lisbon

Catarina Nunes studied ceramics at ESAD in Lisbon, and later took a master's in fine art in Tokyo under master Kimpei Nakamura. She also studied ceramic and glass design at the University of Central England in Birmingham. “I chose ceramics because I was in love with this material," she says. “It was very mouldable but at the same time it had a life of its own. That, for me, triggered a line of conceptual thinking about the material and its possibilities, which developed from thinking about the changes of the material, and the relationship of this material with our body, with our desires, with our expectations of it.”

Read the full interview


  • © Catarina Nunes
  • © Catarina Nunes
  • © Catarina Nunes
  • © Catarina Nunes
  • © Catarina Nunes
Photo: © Catarina Nunes
Carnivora I

This ceramic sculpture, glazed at low temperatures, looks like a writhing sea creature. Small vesicles inside the opening are evocative of coral, while the colours resemble those of marine flora. The eye is drawn into the heart of the piece which seems to be alive, quietly waiting to be touched.

Height 26 cm
Length 30 cm
Width 29 cm

Photo: © Catarina Nunes
Sea Creature

This sea creature born in Catarina’s imaginary ocean came to life while she was spontaneously modelling clay, playing with low temperature glazes and incorporating other elements such as the transparent glass flowers.

Height 9 cm
Length 26 cm
Width 19 cm

Photo: © Catarina Nunes
Deliberate Basalt

For this stoneware piece, part of the series “Traces of the Sea”, Catarina drew her inspiration from the underwater life around the Azores discovered during day dreamt dives. The sculpture was spontaneously modelled from stoneware then covered with glazes and cobalt oxide.

Height 28 cm
Length 43 cm
Width 26 cm

Photo: © Catarina Nunes
Salt, Kodama

As Catarina’s work evolved, she attained a level of interaction with her audience, choosing designs that invite an exploration that goes beyond simple contemplation. At present, she is studying the effects of touch and sound. The Kodama series of stoneware, with high-temperature glazes, gives rise to an intimate sensorial experience.

Height 51 cm
Length 52 cm
Width 50 cm

Photo: © Catarina Nunes
Carnivora V

Viewers might feel inclined to touch this fierce and abstract creature, but they are aware that it could harm them. The piece is partially glazed and decorated with different materials. It is a reflection on temptation and cold, sharp beauty.

Find Catarina Nunes in the itinerary

Lisbon: the city built on tiles
9 locations
Experience Lisbon, a city celebrated for its colourful patterned ceramic tiles adorning architecture, floors, vessels and more. Follow our recommendations to uncover craftspeople, museums and shops that preserve the age-old Portuguese ceramic expertise.

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