Diego Valles

On a table in the study that opens from the dining room to the rest of the house, flanking a window that bathes the space in generous natural light, Diego paints the pots that he makes himself. From here he can see the outside of his house, the hill, the plants, the local and migrating birds. The change of the seasons. Breathing is connected with each line he draws with the brush, its long bristles allow him to move straight lines that adapt to the curved surface of the clay. The chromatic use is economical, dedicated to the symbology and the finishes, the inner body of the outlined shapes.


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He abandoned the path of engineering in maquiladoras to fully use his professional training applied to ceramic production. From collecting the clay, designing and lifting the pieces, painting and burning, all are manufacturing processes that can be optimized and improved. Ingenuity, however, is not devoid of poetry: it is nourished by knowledge and a broad culture, by sensitivity to the landscape and its creatures, by a great love for its land, its community and its history – which it studies, discusses and continually promotes.

He is part of a generation of ceramic innovators in Mata Ortiz who incorporate conceptual and design notions into their pieces, making them narrative, evocative of ideas, beyond quiet ornamentation. The shapes that he traces on the skin of the clay that has passed through his hands print circular dynamics that guide the eye until the circumference is completed, as the ancients did, as young artists like him do.

Diego bets without hesitation on the creative capacity of the people in Mata Ortiz. For this reason, he not only strives to achieve individual ceramic excellence, he also promotes collective actions for the training and professionalization of new talents, production clinics and workshops, conservation of local cultural heritage and cooperation for the commercialization of his and his colleagues' art.