Born in Açú (Rio Grande do Norte), Etewaldo Cruz Santiago grew up in Natal (RN). One of his grandmothers was a potter, and the other a lace maker. From an early age he learned how to make toys out of clay. “Back then I would leave them unfired, because we didin’t have a kiln. My mother didn’t like me playing with clay, because she thought it would give me worms.”
Ceará-Mirim was always on his mind. “One evening we were playing outside, because we had no electricity at home, and my father told us to go inside. I got angry, and whispered that when I grew up I would leave home. He overheard and asked where would I go. I said, to Ceará-Mirim. I had heard stories about it, with its sugar plantations and ox carts. I got a good beating. But I grew up, learned many jobs, including photography, and came to Ceará-Mirim on a work assignment. My brother-in-law, who had learned how to make clay dolls in Tracunhaém, saw my wood pieces and said I could make good money in São Paulo, in the República Square Craft Fair. But I really liked clay. I wanted to buy a piece by Master Vitalino to break it up and see how it was made. My brother-in-law taught me and then left. I was born in 1939, and in 1971 went to São Paulo to see the square he talked about. I sold all the clay pieces I took with me. I spent three months there and came back. I’ve been working solely with clay for 36 years. In order not to starve I got a job in a naval base and there they taught me a bit about architectural drawing, because I have a gift for it. That helped me. But now I live only off my clay work. But I’m weak, I had an operation and I’m recovering. That’s all there is to it.”
Etewaldo passed way in 2006.

Clay, 20 cm tall.
Author’s collection
Clay, 25 cm tall.
Author’s collection
Currais Novos
Center West
Index and Addresses
Book's cover
Published by
Proposta Editorial

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