Keeping Picuris Pottery Alive: Bean Pot Cooking Demo with Therese Tohtsoni-Prudencio (Picuris)

“I’ve made it a life commitment to make micaceous pottery on a continuous basis. I’m trying to keep the pottery alive because that’s what our Pueblo is known for.”

Learn More about Shumakolowa Featured Artist Therese Tohtsoni-Prudencio >



Read Therese's detailed instructions about caring for and seasoning your Picuris pottery that have been used for Picuris Pottery for centuries.   PDF >



“It’s the oldest micaceous clay in North America. We’ve dated our clay back to the early 900s."

"Our Pueblo is world famous for bean pots. They’re a utilitarian vessel made for cooking, storing or serving food."

“I was five when I started making pottery.”

“Cedar and piñon burn hotter. We have to use pine bark. It burns long, it burns low and it burns slow”

“If you go to Picuris looking for Picuris pottery, you are not going to find a cooking pot. That’s how scarce they’ve become. It is a rare pot to find.”

"This is one of my pet peeves. Some people will come up and say, Your pots are a little thick. I always ask them, have you ever seen or felt or held a thin, light slow cooker? These are durable. They’re made for cooking. They have to hold in the heat, they have to hold in the liquid, the food.”

"I coat it very freely with olive oil on the outside and the inside of the pottery."

"In the late 40s into the 60s, my aunt and my uncle started adding little designs to the pots. That craft died because they passed away. These are what I call my revival designs."

"I love sheep’s wool because it has the natural lanolin. That helps to make it really shiny."

Explore Therese Tohtsoni-Prudencio's Bio, Awards, and Artwork on her Featured Artist Page >


  • Awesome, I remember when MI abulita y mama used to cook and serve in clay pottery, the flavor and aroma seems to have been very different but wonderful ! Mama also used cast iron sartenes and food also was very tasty and cooked just right never a bad meal with either of these methods, I have been looking for some time at ones sold in local Cardenas Grocery stores but not sure if I can cook in those even though they are glazed within!
    So my question is whether you sell your line of pottery for cooking vs art ?
    Thankyou for sharing your work!

    JuanLeonardo Vargas
  • Where can these pots be bought? I live in Rio Rancho, NM. Might it be anywhere close by?.

    Jon Rueck
  • Love the videos on the Picuris bean pot! Wonderful information – wonderful to know the tradition of pottery is still being followed.
    We absolutely of IPCC and Shumakolowa.
    Thanks for sharing wonderful information about the people and culture of the pueblos.
    See you soon.

    Katie Richarme
  • A most excellent event! Thank you for presenting it, full of useful information, from the labor-intensive steps of building to firing to cooking and curing. She mixed in the history and tradition with passion and gusto, in a friendly and humorous way. Thank you for posting it and inviting her, would gladly attend another. I even placed an order for a pot and can hardly wait!

    Terry Campbell

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