Antonia, a devoted daughter and protegee of Bennett Welsh who was a gifted, award winning and well known potter nationally, grew up with his influence and access to his studio from an early age where she played and experimented with clay. Her earliest experience in ceramics was primarily by osmosis, watching her father, painting and making "stuff out of clay". As she grew older, Antonia attended the Portland Art Museum's Saturday children's classes from the age of six through high school. In college she studied art and art history, graduating in 1973 with a B.A. in fine art from Mt. Angel College, Oregon.
While raising her two sons, Antonia worked for her father who ran a successful production pottery business called, B. Welsh Studio. There they produced a substantial line of hand-thrown dinnerware, kitchen and gardenware. She was responsible for many production tasks to include trimming, glazing, decorating, loading and unloading kilns, and shipping. Over the years, Antonia also worked for her local Silverton newspaper designing and producing their display advertising as well as working as a free-lance graphic artist.
After her father retired from the production pottery business, he returned to his studio to work as a successful exhibiting fine artist. In 1988, Bennett was honored by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) in recognition of productive scholarship in education and notable contributions to the Ceramic Arts. It was not long before Antonia joined him in the studio to work on her own hand-built clay creations. Their styles were very different and distinct, but they shared similar interests in nature, myth and physical form. "Our continuing dialog, as well as his making his vast knowledge of ceramics available to me was incredibly enriching, and a great gift.
After her father's death, Antonia continued to work in his studio and eventually moved it to her Silverton home on the banks of Silver Creek. "It is a beautiful site, and although the studio is small compared to the Gresham Pottery, it has the same characteristics and spirit. I continue to explore the endlessly facinating medium of clay and carry on the tradition."