Roberto Olivas

Mata Ortiz &
Casas Grandes
Lightly carved, sgraffito and painted geometric design on a large polychrome vase

Born in 1984, Roberto Olivas has been producing pottery since about 2002. His mother, Lupita Hernandez, was a potter and he grew up watching her make pots. Eventually, he put his hands in the clay and began making his own.

Roberto is comfortable making his own small pots but larger pots he purchases from other potters. It was Roberto and Tavo Silveira who pioneered carving away the unpainted backgrounds of their pots. Today he enjoys carving his pots and painting the designs. He says his pots bring in some good money but he enjoys working with clay so much he'd probably be making pots whether they made any money or not. When he's not working on his pots, Roberto is probably out in the fields working with cattle.

Two years younger than Roberto, his wife, Yadira Silveira, learned to make pots by watching her mother, Lila Silveira. She makes pots, too, and often works with Roberto. They have two children and live in Barrio Porvenir. Both have entered several Concursos de Mata Ortiz, Roberto bringing home a 1st Place ribbon in 2007.

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