Maria Amelia da Silva was born in 1925 in Tracunhaém, Pernambuco State. She attributes her interest in clay modelling to her admiration for her father’s work with earthenware. She began by smoothing pans and then modelling animals. Later she created figures of saints and St. Joseph is her favourite. Her main works measure 50-70 cm and feature a unique facial expression and pleated cloaks. Her figures are large, powerful and striking.