Rachel Medina was born to Sofia and Rafael Medina in Zia Pueblo and learned to make pottery from her mother. Among her siblings are Marcellus Medina and Lois Medina. After playing with clay off and on as she grew up, in her early 30s she started to create more pottery as a Zia potter with her mother as her teacher. Then she married Bernard Raton of Santa Ana Pueblo and moved to his home there.
Bernard is the grandson of Eudora Montoya and Rachel learned the Santa Ana methods and designs from her. Eudora also instructed her to use designs from both Zia and Santa Ana but as a member of Santa Ana Pueblo, she no longer had the right to use the Zia roadrunner. So she developed her own geometric bird (she calls it "the swan") and she paints it on almost everything she makes. Eudora also taught her that Santa Ana designs leave lots of white space in between.
In her own words: "My pottery has a story to tell of my lineage the history of my ancestors and a story of where I have come from and where I am now in life. Every pot I create has a piece of my heart. I give it life. I have not yet come full circle in the pottery making. I am just truly evolving."