Maxine was born on April 25, 1948 into a prominent family of potters on Jemez Pueblo: grandmother Persingula Gachupin, mother Marie G. Romero, sister Laura Gachupin, and daughters Dominique and Camilla Toya, all of whom were and are respected, prize-winning artists. She learned from some of the best potters in Jemez Pueblo and began producing pottery for the marketplace in 1971. In addition to being an award-winning potter, Maxine has also had a distinguished career as an educator in the Jemez Pueblo school system.
Her repertoire as an artist includes matte, polychrome and polished redware storytellers, nacimientos (Nativity scenes), corn maidens, clay sculptures, figures, miniature kivas and owls, plus textiles, prints, paintings and writings.
She signs her sculptures as: "Maxine Toya, Jemez", followed by the corn symbol to denote her Corn Clan origin.