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Benjamin and Geraldine Toya

Benjamin & Geraldine “Laguna Flower” Toya are full blooded Native American Indians born into the Jemez Pueblo. Benjamin is a member of the Acorn Clan, and Geraldine is a member of the Coyote Clan. Benjamin was born in 1964 and Geraldine was born in 1966. They learned the art of pottery making at a very young age, but didn’t take a serious interest in pottery making until 1985. They were inspired by Margaret Sarracino (grandmother) and Pauline Sarracino (mother).

Benjamin & Geraldine specialize in hand-coiled pottery which they decorate very ornately with corn stalks and intricate blossom patterns. Their clay is gathered from within the Jemez Pueblo. It is cleaned, mixed, hand-coiled, shaped, sanded, hand-painted, and fired outdoors, the traditional way, with cedar wood chips. They coil various shapes and sizes of wedding vases and pots. The colors used on the pottery are derived by pigments from Mother Earth. They enjoy working on the larger pottery because they can add more detail on their pottery. They are related to Reyes Panana (cousin) who is known for making koshare clay sculptures and the late Louisa Panana (great grandmother). They sign their pottery as: B.G. Toya, Jemez, N.M.