Maxine Toya

Singing Mother

9 3/4" H x 6 3/4" W

Maxine R. Toya “New Snow” was born in 1948 into the Jemez Pueblo. She is a member of the Corn Clan. Maxine began drawing and painting at the age of 5. She began working with clay in 1971. Her mother, Marie Romero, along with other family members, encouraged and inspired her to learn the art of the long lived tradition of working with clay, using ancient methods in the process.

Maxine is also a school teacher by profession. She enjoys teaching the traditions passed down to her from her ancestors to the younger generations so that the legacy of her people will be continued for centuries to come.

Maxine specializes in hand coiled clay sculptures of various contemporary pueblo people images. She gathers her clay from within the hills of the Jemez Pueblo. Then, she soaks the clay, sifts for impurities, hand mixes, hand coils, hand shapes, sands the clay, hand paints using natural pigments to make the colors, fires the sculptures outdoors, with cedar chips, and stone polishes the final product.

Every piece of art she creates is symbolic and unique in her eyes. She strives to achieve simplicity and elegance in her sculptures. She signs her sculptures as: Maxine Toya, Jemez, followed by the corn symbol to denote her Clan Origin. She is related to: Damian Toya (son), Camilla Toya (daughter), Laura Gachupin (sister), Gordon Foley (nephew), Bertha Gachupin (cousin), Virginia Fragua (niece), Persingula Gachupin (grandmother), and Juan B. Gachupin (great grandfather).

Maxine's figures are among the most sought-after and the most difficult to obtain. She is a devoted school teacher and will not allow her potting to take time away from that, which results in very limited pottery production. A combination of matte paints and polished slips is used on her figures, giving them a very finished appearance.

Maxine states: I have a hard time parting with my pieces; it's part of me that's going, too. Whatever you have put into that piece has helped make you a better person. When you are done and you hold it in your hands, to me, it comes alive."


-2005 Santa Fe Indian Market 1st Place
-New Mexico State Fair various years consecutively since 1974 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Place
-Eighth Northern Arts & Crafts Show various years consecutively since 1974 1st, 2nd & 3rd Place
-Santa Fe Indian Market several years consecutively 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Place various years


-Southern Pueblo Pottery 2,000 Artist Biographies
-Talking with the Clay
-American Indian Pottery 2nd Edition
-The Pueblo Storyteller
-Storytellers & Other Figurative Pottery
-Southwestern Pottery Anasazi to Zuni
-Southwestern Indian Pottery 1999 Edition

Gallery Price: $1,980.00

Sale: $1,585.00
(plus sh/han)

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