Portuguese by birth, Antônio Batista de Souza came from the small city of Santa Cristina. Both his maternal grandfather and father were master craftsmen who made utensils in clay that transcended pure function.
When he was just a year old his family moved to Brazil, first to São Paulo and later to Minas Gerais. He dreamed of becoming a poet but what he was unable to achieve in poetry he was able to achieve in the fine arts, where he dedicated himself to working with ceramics. In 1955 he settled in Goiânia becoming known as Antônio Poteiro (literally "the potter"). It was later that he began to paint and the prints followed on.