John Earley began his career as an architectural sculptor's apprentice in his father's studio at the age of 17. Together with another apprentice, Basil Taylor, Early built his own studio after his father became ill. The studio was involved in many influential and innovative projects throughout the early 1900's.
One of the first projects undertaken by the Earley studio was to research common problems with stucco construction, and to try to perfect the technique. Earley found the causes of many problems and innovated new methods to cope with them.
Another of the Earley Studio's innovations was the use of exposed aggregate for architectural concrete. This technique was first applied at Meridian Hill Park in Washington D.C. Earley's studio also solved the problem of aggregate clumping by creating the process now known as "gap grading." They also pioneered the use of colored concrete, in structures such as the Polychrome House in Maryland.