Roberta Youvella Silas was born in 1939 and began making pottery in 1965. She was the daughter of Pauline Youvella (Laguna Pueblo) and Roy Youvella (Hopi-Tewa). No one in her family made pottery, so she learned to do so by working with Helen Naha (Feather Woman).
Silas lived in the village of Polacca at First Mesa, where she was able to see many examples of ancient Sikyatki pottery in the form of pot shards. She incorporated the ancient pottery designs from these shards into her work. Several potters of Hopi-Tewa lineage developed a wonderful design concept that is in variance with the more traditional Sikyatki-revival designs used by the Nampeyo family, yet it is based on the same origin. Roberta Silas was one of these who mastered the design concept.