Rose Gonzales was born just after the turn of the 20th century at San Juan Pueblo. The swine flu pandemic that swept across the world around 1918 wiped out most of her family, except for a sister and an aunt, Mary Cata. In 1920, she married Robert Gonzales and moved to his home at San Ildefonso Pueblo. Her sister came, too. It was her husband's mother, Ramona Sanchez Gonzales, who taught Rose how to make San Ildefonso pottery.
By 1930 Rose was known for producing highly polished red and black ware. That was the year she carved her first pot. She credits her husband with finding a shard out in the woods while he was hunting, a shard that gave her the idea. But she carved her first pot and that began a design tradition that continues.
She would carve her pots with a sharp knife or a chisel, then sand the edges. Then she would sometimes paint more, sometimes not. She taught her son, Tse-Pe to make pots, too, but he preferred the sgraffito method to carving. Rose also taught Tse-Pe's wife Dora Tse-Pe, and their daughter Irene.
Rose's innovations have made a lasting effect in the world of pueblo pottery. She passed on in 1989.