Biography

Diego Valles was born in the border town of Palomas Chihuahua in July 1982 but he lived in Santa Rosa until he was twelve. Santa Rosa was a small village of no more than a hundred people and not having but Elementary School, his parents decided to move To Mata Ortiz in 1994 so he and his younger brother could study middle school.

By then Diego had already made his first “Ollas” back when he was nine years old. Then in Mata Ortiz he just had to walk around his neighbors and friends family to start learning pottery; specially with the Mora Tena family, whose kids were Diego´s friends during middle school. Diego was always inspired by the “always-in-movement” designs of the Quezada style and the intricacy of the ones from the second generation potters.

Diego graduated from middle school in Mata Ortiz and then from high school in Colonia Juarez, a Mormon town ten miles from Mata Ortiz. After that, he enrolled in Electromechanical Engineering at the Tecnológico Superior de Nuevo Casas Grandes and obtained his degree in 2005.

He graduated with honors of these three schools. He also studied a year abroad at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia as part of the Peace Scholarship Program, sponsored by the International Development Program (IDP) Australia and the Public Education Secretariat in Mexico.

In 2006 he was offered to be part of the exhibition project Mata Ortiz: A 40 Years Phenomenon organized by the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) and decided to devote his time completely to clay.

Ever since, Diego has been expanding the limits not only of Mata Ortiz Ceramics, but also of traditional Mexican Ceramics. Last year 2010 he was awarded The National Youth Award for Arts, which is Mexico’s highest honor to a young living artist, “for the combination of Science, Art and Excellence in the creation of his ceramics…”