Franklin Peters entered this world in May of 1978, son of potter Ella Peters (Vallo). He learned the basics of the traditional methods at an early age by watching and working with his mother. He still counts his mother as his greatest inspiration but he also early on received inspiration and instruction from his aunt, Phyllis Juanico. He's been producing pots for more than 20 years and has participated in shows at Santa Fe Indian Market and at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.
In 2011 Franklin was selected as the Rollin and Mary Ella King Native Artist Fellow at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe. He spent that fellowship studying the Research Center’s pottery collections to better understand the techniques and processes used by his ancestors. He is also interested in exploring more contemporary designs, advancing his own sense of style, increasing the size of his ollas and incorporating more historical designs into his work.
He says it usually takes him about 1 1/2-weeks to complete an 11-inch pot. Peters’ designs originate with the traditions of his clan – the Sky Clan. The thin, fine lines usually found on his pottery symbolize rain. "They’re more or less praying for rain," he said of his pots. "As a member of the Sky Clan, that’s what we pray for all the time."
Today, he still uses the pigment stones and scraping gourds his mother gave him. His sisters Rose Histia Vallo and Katrina Lewis Vallo also make pottery but he is the only male in his clan to do so. He wants the world to realize the Acoma pottery tradition continues, partly through his own efforts to replicate traditional styles and designs and through his efforts to educate younger members of his family in the traditional ways.
We recently learned that Franklin will be demonstrating his pottery making techniques at the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market in Phoenix, AZ, March 5 & 6, 2016.