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Max Early. Pottery and Poetry. King Galleries 2014

Max Early. Pottery and Poetry. King Galleries 2014

Max Early is one of the few potters from Laguna Pueblo. He is a grandson of Clara Acoya Encino who, along with Gladys Paquin, taught him to make pottery. He is part of the Turkey Clan in the pueblo that is show in the signature on his pottery. He is well known for his revival of classic Laguna shapes and designs on his pottery. More recently he has also been creating more innovative shapes and designs on his work. Max is also a poet and has incorporated some of his poems on his pottery. He has been an award winning potter since 1994 at Santa Fe Indian Market and he continues to push the boundaries of both traditional and non-traditional pottery at Laguna Pueblo.

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Early, Max – Jar with Fine-Line Patterns

Max Early is one of the few traditional potters working today at Laguna Pueblo.  His work combines tradition forms with a blend of contemporary and traditional designs.  This jar is inspired by an older Laguna jar with fine-line patterns.  The center of the jar has  bold geometric forms which are painted with lines.  The lines are both red and black. They are separated by cloud and mountain patterns.  The neck of the jar has cloud and rain forms along with small corn designs.  The jar is a beautiful shape with a slightly elongated neck and a rounded base. The the rounded bottom harkens back to the traditional Laguna pottery when the water jars were meant to be carried on one’s head.  Note as well his use of the various clays to create a “three color” jar!   The jar is also traditionally fired, which adds to the overall difficulty of the piece.  It is certainly exciting to see a potter who is inspired by traditional shapes and designs and yet has the artistry to create his own distinctive variation!

$ 1,800.00
Early, Max – “Ears of Corn: Listen” Book of Poetry

Congratulations to Max Early for the publication of his first book of poetry.  Max is a well known potter but also quickly become as famous for his poetry!

We currently have signed copies in the gallery!

“In Ears of Com: Listen, Native American potter and poet Max Early gracefully details both the everyday and the extraordinary moments of family and community life, work and art, sadness and celebration at the Laguna Pueblo of New Mexico.With in the four seasons-Ty’ee-Tro, Kushra-Tyee,Heyya-Ts’ee, and Kooka—the beauty of Early’s writing beckons the reader to accompany him on the journey between ancient and modern times.Including an historical Preface by the author,an Introduction by Simon J. Ortiz, and photographs of Early’s family and award-winning art, this debut poetry book is profound in its welcome and its teachings.

 ‘Early’s poems take us into the cultural continuum of a contemporary Laguna Pueblo artist. Each poem is pottery of words, complete with designs to bring rain, to remember and praise the earth and sky path we humans travel. Early’s poems are earthy, real and compelling. I keep hearing them, like songs emerging from the creative earth.”

-Joy Harjo, “Crazy Brave”, Mvskoke poet and musician


‘We are thankful for these poems that cup us through the seasons,past the drought f a spiritual slumber. Like a weathered olla recalling the hold of cold water,we are replenished and bathed anew.We should heed our want and need to the bounty of their beauty and submit ourselves to the lessons therein. Shhh…the poems are speaking:Listen!”

-Levi Romero, “A Poetry of Remembrance and In the Gathering of Silence”, New Mexico Centennial Poet


‘Poetry and pottery are art forms simultaneously ancient and yet made for the moment. The words flow like coils of clay to surround the reader and build a vision of the mind and soul of the poet. Potter Max Early’s poetry in ‘Ears of Corn: Listen” reveals much about life in his native Laguna Pueblo. More importantly it gives a modern voice to an ancient culture making it relevant for both a new generation and also those outside the Pueblo. The poems tell his story of how, “Breaking gender taboos didn’t turn me to stone” and the delicate balance he finds between embracing modernity and reveling in the past. The use of native Laguna words adds grace to the poems, much like a perfectly painted vessel; they lyrically draw the eye, create balance and provide a connection to the viewer. Not only is Max’s collection of poems worth a read, but a second read as well. The first time they may just seem pretty, but the second time the novelty is gone and the substance remains. Much like Max’s pottery.’
Charles S. King, Author of “Born of Fire: The Pottery of Margaret Tafoya” and “The Life and Art of Tony Da”


Max Early was born into a tradition of potters and clay. He creates traditional pottery in order to help save the art of pottery making in Laguna Pueblo.When hbegan to focus on writing, he continued his passion for celebrating his family, culture, language,and the enchanting New Mexico landscape.

Honors and awards for Early in pottery include a Fellowship from the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts;a Native American Community Scholar Appointment: Office of Fellowships and Grants,Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market judge’s Award in Sculpture; the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial-First in Effigies/Special Elkus Memorial Award; and the Santa Fe Indian Market-First in Traditional Pottery/Wedding Vases.

$ 25.00
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