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Max Early Max Early
Laguna

Max Early was born in 1963 into the Laguna Pueblo. His mother is of the Turkey Clan and his father is of the Bear Clan. Max married into the Cochiti Pueblo and has 3 children. His interest in tradition began when he was a teenager living with his grandparents. Max was never encouraged to actually work with clay since his grandmother, Clara Acoya Encino, emphasized that pottery making was a woman’s job. It was, however, acceptable for Max to assist with painting his grandmother’s pottery. He began doing this when she developed arthritis and could no longer paint. He eventually moved away to attend college and his interest in pottery lay dormant for nearly 10 years.

He began painting ceramic ware as a hobby, but couldn’t feel any life in the commercial pieces. He decided to venture out on his own. He knew where to gather raw materials and set out, with determination, to make a large olla. Once complete, Max called on a fellow potter, Gladys Paquin, and asked her teach him how to fire pottery. His first olla survived the firing and Max took the success as a sign that he was destined to become an artisan.

With only a handful of traditional potters existing in the Laguna Pueblo, Max knew what his obligation to his Pueblo would be. Max says that he first learned to make drums and moccasins. However, drum and moccasin makers were a dime a dozen. His decision to change over to traditional pottery came from his desire to help save the art of pottery making within his pueblo from extinction. Max is encouraging his children to continue the pottery making tradition. Max’s goal to become a mentor for his people will fulfill his ambition to keep the tradition alive and endure for future generations to come.

Awards:

-Santa Fe Indian Market consecutively since 1994-1998 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places
-New Mexico State Fair 1995 4th premium

Publications:

-Southern Pueblo Pottery 2,000 Artist Biographies
- Santa Fe Indian Market August 1998
-Singing the Clay: Pueblo Pottery of the SW
-SWAIA American Indian News, July 1995
-Indian Artist, Spring 1995
- New Mexico Magazine, August 1994
- Pueblo Artist Portraits
-The Native American Indian Artist Directory
-Southwestern Pottery Anasazi to Zuni
-Trading Post Guide Book
- Acoma and Laguna Pottery

Permanent Collections:

- Cincinnati Art Museum , Cincinnati , OH
-Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuq. NM
- Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Museum of NM , Santa Fe , NM
- San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego C.A.

Galleries:

-Andrea Fisher Gallery, Santa Fe , NM
-Robert Nichols Gallery, Santa Fe , NM
- Rio Grande Indian Wholesale, Albuq. NM

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Victor & Naomi EckleberryVictor & Naomi Eckleberry
Santa Clara

Victor & Naomi Eckleberry are full blooded Native Americans born into the Santa Clara Pueblo. Victor was born in 1958 and Naomi was born in 1961. They were inspired spiritually to carry on the family tradition of pottery making. They have been making pottery since 1985.

They specialize in the traditional handmade black Santa Clara pottery. The designs they use on the black pottery have special meaning to them. The top of the pot represents the sky, the middle represents the serpent, (the eye represents the moon),and the bottom of the pot represents water or land. Everything etched on pottery coincides with Father Sky and Mother Earth. Some of the designs they use include the kiva step, which are the mile stones in life, the feather, which represents the birds, and the water wave, which represents water. They hand coil a wide variety of shapes. Naomi hand coils and designs the shapes, while Victor enjoys carving the pottery. Victor is a moon watcher and most of his inspiration comes from the elements on the earth. They dig up the clay from a sacred ground within the Santa Clara Pueblo, then let it dry for 30 days, and finally mix it with volcanic ash from around the hills that surround their home. They mix the clay with their feet for at least 1 1/2 hours, then they will begin coiling, shaping, etching, and then they fire the pottery the traditional way, outdoors. They sign their pottery as: Victor & Naomi Eckleberry, date, followed by Santa Clara Pueblo.

They are related to Margaret Tafoya.

Awards:

-Picuris Pueblo Arts & Crafts Show 2nd place
-Picuris Pueblo Arts & Crafts Show 1st Place 1999

Publications:

-Southwestern Pottery Anasazi to Zuni
-Fourteen Families in Pueblo Pottery
-Pueblo Indian Pottery 750 Artist Biographies

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Berleen Estevan Berleen Estevan
Acoma

Berleen Estevan is a full blooded Native American Indian. She was born into the Acoma Pueblo in 1975. She has been working with pottery since 1985, at the age of 10. She was inspired to learn the process of pottery making by her Grandmother, the late, Lucy Juanico. Lucy taught Berleen all the fundamentals of pottery making the traditional way. Berleen has invented her own unique style of pottery.

Berleen specializes in hand painted greenware and hand coiled pottery. She hand paints kokopelli, animals, mimbres designs, and angels on many different shapes of pottery. Berleen hand coils traditional pottery and hand paints her unique patterns. She gathers her raw pigments from within the Acoma Pueblo and uses ancient traditional methods to construct her pottery. However, she really enjoys painting on ceramic pottery most of all. The first piece Berleen ever made was a bread oven, which she was so proud of. Berleen signs her pottery as: B. Estevan, Acoma , N.M.

Berleen is related to the following artists: The famous Dorothy Torivio (aunt) and Charlene Estevan.

Publications:

-Southern Pueblo Pottery 2,000 Artist Biographies

Awards:

- None to date

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Jennifer M. Estevan and Michael PatricioJennifer M. Estevan and Michael Patricio
Acoma

Jennifer M. Estevan and Michael Patricio are a couple that have teamed up to hand coil a very unique style of pottery. Jennifer was born in 1963, Michael was born in 1968. They were both born into the Acoma Pueblo. Jennifer began experimenting with pottery making at the age of 14. She was inspired to continue the family tradition of pottery making by her Mother, Virginia Estevan, who taught her all the essentials for pottery making. Jennifer and Michael contribute equally to the hard work it takes to make their intricate detailed pottery.

They specialize in the handmade traditional Acoma pottery, designed with lightning bolt patterns, which is referred to as the Anasazi design. All of the ingredients are borrowed from Mother Earth, including the colors derived from natural pigments. They hand coil a wide variety of shapes and sizes, however, Jennifer enjoys making the original olla style the best. Jennifer signs their pottery as: J. Estevan, Acoma , NM .

Jennifer is related to the following artists: Yvonne Estevan (sister) and Joe Estevan (brother).

Awards:

-Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonies 2nd place

Publications:

-Southern Pueblo Pottery 2,000 Artist Biographies
-Southwestern Pottery Anasazi to Zuni

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Kimberly EteeyanKimberly Eteeyan
Jemez/Potowatomie


Kimberly Eteeyan is a full blooded Native American Indian, she was born in 1964. She is half Jemez and half Potowatomie. Kimberly was inspired to hand coil clay sculptures and storytellers by many other artists, her creativity, and she was also economically motivated to continue a long lived tradition. Kimberly has been experimenting with pottery making since the age of 20. Kimberly was quoted as saying, “I just wanted to create my own style of art.”

Kimberly specializes in handmade storytellers and clay sculptures, but does not limit her abilities. She can also hand coil pottery the traditional way. She gathers her clay from the grounds within the Jemez Pueblo. Kimberly also grinds, sifts, hand mixes, and hand shapes her pottery on her own. She paints using all natural colors provided to her by the natural pigments found within the Jemez Pueblo, and finally, she fires her pottery in a kiln. Kimberly signs her pottery as: KE-Jemez.

Kimberly is related to Mary Louise Eteeyan (mother), another one of the well known potters around today.

Awards:

-New Mexico State Fair Honorable mention
-New Mexico State Fair 3rd place
-New Mexico State Fair 4th place

Publications:

-Southern Pueblo Pottery 2,000 Artist Biograpies

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Mary Louise Eteeyan Mary Louise Eteeyan
Jemez

Mary Louise Eteeyan is a full blooded Native American Indian. She was born into the Jemez Pueblo in 1942. She was inspired to learn the art of pottery making, by observing several of her friends hand coil their pottery. She began experimenting with pottery making in 1978 at the age of 34.

Mary Louise specializes in the handmade Jemez style butterfly bowls with lids. She also hand coils wedding vases and various shapes of pottery. Mary gathers her own clay from the grounds within the Pueblo . Then, she soaks the clay, grinds, sifts, cleans, mixes, hand coils, shapes, hand paints, and fires her pottery the traditional way, outdoors. Mary Louise uses all natural pigments to construct her pottery. Her coiling and painting skills are among one of the most precise around today. Mary signs her pottery as: Mary Louise Eteeyan, Jemez.

Mary is related to the following artists: Anna Marie Sendo (mother) and Kimberly Eteeyan (daughter).

Awards:

-New Mexico State Fair 1st place
-Eighth Northern Arts & Crafts Show 1st place
-Gallup Indian Ceremonials

Publications:

-Southern Pueblo Pottery 2,000 Artist Biographies
-Featured Artist in Southwest Magazine

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Rick EtsittyRick Etsitty
Navajo

Rick Etsitty is a full blooded Native American Indian. He was born into the Navajo Nation in 1963. He began crafting his pottery in 1994, at the age of 28. He was inspired to craft his pottery by observing his sister, Ella Morgan She is also a well known pottery artist.

Rick specializes in the Navajo etched pottery. He paints the pottery using multi colors, and hand etches many different patterns and designs. Then, he fires the pottery in a kiln. Rick hand carves animals or kokopelli (god of fertility) designs on his different shaped pottery. He crafts many different sizes of pottery. Rick signs his pottery as: ME Dine RE, followed by the year it was etched.

Rick is also related to the following artists: Emma Etsitty, Peggy Etsitty, Etta Morgan, and Ida James (sisters).

Awards:

-1998 New Mexico State Fair 2nd place

Publications:

-Mary Laura’s calendar

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