Bertina Tosa “Ice Line” – Jemez

Published on August 14, 2014 by Carol

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Jemez Pueblo jar, by B. Tosa

Bertina Tosa “Ice Line” was named after her grandmother. She is a full blooded Native American Indian born in 1960 into the Jemez Pueblo. She was inspired to continue the long lived tradition of hand coiling pottery from her mother, Mary S. Toya. Mary taught Bertina all the fundamentals of making pottery the traditional way. Bertina began experimenting with pottery making at the age of 13. She didn’t seriously pursue pottery making until she graduated from High School. Then, the lucrative aspect of the business played a key roll in her pursuing a career as an artist.

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Bertina specializes in hand coiled traditional pottery. She gathers her clay and other natural pigments from the hills within the Jemez Pueblo. She cleans, mixes, hand coils, shapes, paints, and fires her pottery the traditional way, outdoors, with cedar wood chips. She hand paints her designs with the natural pigments that she collects within her Pueblo. She hand coils bowls, wedding vases, and on occasion, she constructs storytellers. She signs her pottery as: B. Tosa, Jemez.

Bertina is related to many famous pottery artists among them are: Elizabeth Medina (sister) and Marcellus Medina (brother-in-law).

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Based on the collective work of, © 2014 Native American Encyclopedia.
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Did You Know?

Freeze dried food is a Native Invention. The Inca of Peru used to preserve potatoes using a freeze-dry process. They would put them on mountain terraces, and the solar radiation and extremely cold temperatures created a freeze-dried product that lasted indefinitely.

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