“I was born in 1962, in Peabiru, a small city in Paraná, in southern Brazil. I grew up in a family where my toys were handmade by my mother. She loved crafts. She was a dollmaker; she made and sold cloth dolls. I always had a lot of admiration for her and grew up observing and following my mother's work.
“When I was 16 I married a wonderful person, and I went with my husband to live in another state; Mato Grosso do Sul, where I have been living for more than 38 years. Now I feel like a daughter of that land. At that time, as soon as I arrived, I felt without much perspective. I found out that, for health reasons, I could not have natural children. I had to look for something that motivated me. The image of pregnant women caught my attention. The countless children, children of indigenous women, who were born but did not always survive. This was my inspiration for the creation of my sculptures of pregnant indigenous women. But God sent me two wonderful children; children of the heart, who always gave me great joy. Janaína is 32 years old and Gabriel is 24. They are great people and admirable professionals of whom I am very proud. I'm already a grandmother.
“When I started in handicrafts, I did small crochet work on table linens and dish towels. It was then that I heard of a place where handicrafts from the region were produced and sold. I was enchanted by the local handicrafts, especially ceramics. I became involved with this universe and the questions and difficulties that people faced. I continued doing research and strengthening ties with indigenous culture and its traditions. This trajectory led me to transmit this knowledge to other people, through classes and projects. More than a desire, I felt it was my duty to contribute, in some way, to maintaining traditions and telling the story of the indigenous peoples in the region. They are people that deserve all of our respect and attention from around the world.
“My sculptures, mostly pregnant women, have accessories, clothes and indigenous objects. With jars of fruit on their heads, and birds like toucans and macaws resting on their shoulders and arms. I did not want to copy, but to seek an identity for my sculptures, my "clay dolls". My studio is next to my house, where I share space with my daughter, Janaína, and young cousins Everaldo and Sonia who joined us to increase the production of my pieces. I see an opportunity to expand our work and be able to show the world, through my work, a little bit of the indigenous culture of my state and my country.”