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Russell Sanchez Russell Sanchez

Russell Sanchez (b. 1963) continues to be one of the master innovators in Pueblo pottery. Each piece he creates is perfectly hand-coiled, stone polished, then etched, inlaid, designed, and fired with utilizing traditional Native American pottery methods. Russell learned to make pottery from his great-aunt, noted potter and pottery matriarch Rose Gonzales (1900-1989.) He started making pottery at the early age of 12 years old on the San Ildefonso Pueblo. Russell has received numerous awards and recognition for his pottery throughout his career. Including such distinctions as 'Best of Division' at both the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Indian Market. In 2007 Russell's art was presented in the feature article of the Fall issue of Native People's Magazine. In 2011, Russell was awarded the exclusive 'Tony Da Award' for Pottery in Santa Fe. Most recently, Russell was a recipient of the 'New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence in Art 2017.'

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Sanchez, Russell  – Triple “Gourd” Water Jar

This is an exceptional jar by Russell Sanchez.  The piece is a classic water jar shape but with the traditional “gourd” indentions on all the areas of the piece.  The “Gourd Jar” takes its inspiration from the gourd shards used when smoothing out a piece of pottery.  That same piece then can create an indention on the surface of the vessel.  This jar has eight horizontal indentions on the shoulder.  These are the classic “gourd” indentions.  The neck has 12 and the base has 12 vertical gourd indentions. There is a band of checkerboard designs just below the neck and two more rows below the shoulder.  They are mica and matte in coloration.  The rim of the jar is fluted with 24 undulations!  I took a pic of the area under the rim to show how the clay is pushed up to create the fluted form.  This style of rim harkens back to the original name for this type of rim, the “raindrop rim”.   The rim is slipped with mica, as a contrast to the highly polished surfaces.  All of the hei-shi beads are hematite. Russell continues to revive historic San Ildefonso designs with his innovative style of pottery.  The bottom of the jar has the classic indention of traditional San Ildefonso water jars.  It’s exciting how Russell uses these historic elements to keep them alive on his contemporary pottery.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, ‘Russell”.

Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

$ 7,800.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Polychrome Box with Bear Lid

Russell Sanchez continues to be one of the true innovators in Pueblo pottery.  Each piece is perfectly coil built, stone polished and etched.  This is a round box with a bear lid.  The round shape is one that is seen at San Ildefonso Pueblo as early as the 1920’s (the last photo is a round box by Maria Martinez from the 1920’s).  This box is polished red on the top and bottom band and the center is polished with the polished white clay.  The top band is painted black-on-red with a hatchwork pattern. The central band is etched with a storm pattern and then slipped with red and black clay slips.  The bottom band is polished black and red with matte tan areas to create the checkerboard pattern.  There are three bands of hei-shi beads, two made from jet (black) and one from turquoise.  The lid is a sculptural bear which is polished a deep red and the base if etched with a polychrome corn design.  There are two bands of inset turquoise hei-shi beads.  As Russell continues to innovate from historic designs, he says, “Tradition means moving forward and adding to it. You keep moving forward.  If we stayed stagnant we would no longer exist.”  The box is signed on the bottom in the clay.  It is exciting to see how this imagery is not new but Russell’s reinterpretation of it both modernizes and revives.

Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

$ 6,000.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Large Red & Black Bear with Summer/Winter Designs

Russell Sanchez continues to be one of the true innovators in Pueblo pottery.  Each piece is perfectly coil built, stone polished and etched.  This large bear is one of his classic shapes.  The piece is coil built and then stone polished a deep red.  The designs on the front are the rain and summer and the back are snow and winter.  Note the variation in the heartline which is a series of dots which flow around the surface.  The heartline which extends out from the mouth of the bear. The bear is a symbol of strength and the heartline is a traditional image used to symbolize the heart as the center of power in the animal.  The inside of the legs is polished black. The band across the back of the bear has five rows of square hematite and two rows of turquoise.  On the back of the bear are two pieces of Lone Mountain Turquoise.  It is not often that he creates such a large piece and the result is quite stunning.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.

Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

$ 16,000.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Polychrome Corn Meal Box

Russell Sanchez continues to be one of the true innovators in Pueblo pottery.  Each piece is perfectly coil built, stone polished and etched.  This box is one of his first incorporating a polished white clay slip!  The white is the same white clay used on historic San Ildefonso polychrome pottery when it was stone polished.  This piece has a culturally inspired shape and design.  The shape is from the traditional “corn meal” boxes, which were used to hold corn meal during Pueblo events. The raised or step area is a mountain.  This box has two old style snakes surrounding it on three sides.  They are slipped with red an black clay.  On the back side is a Sun Katsina design.  Again, etched into the clay and slipped with red and black clay slips along with the white clay.  Below the central design is a row of checkerboard polished black and matte.  The bottom band of design is separated by two inset bands of hematite hei-shi beads.  Not as if this box doesn’t have a lot going on, but check out the inside, which is highly polished black!  There is a band of turquoise beads separating the black from the red.  Simply spectacular!   As Russell continues to innovate from historic designs, he says, “Tradition means moving forward and adding to it. You keep moving forward.  If we stayed stagnant we would no longer exist.”  The box is signed on the bottom in the clay.  The last two photos are the box next to a San Ildefonso polychrome cornmeal box from the early 1900’s, for a comparison of this historic shape and polychrome coloration.  It is exciting to see how this imagery is not new but Russell’s reinterpretation of it both modernizes and revives.

Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

$ 6,200.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Gunmetal Bowl with Circles and Bear Lid

This is a creative bowl by Russell Sanchez.  He continues to be one of the true innovators in Pueblo pottery.  Each piece is perfectly coil built, stone polished and etched. This piece is a round bowl and has 20 circles carved into the clay.  Each is stone polished and they are separated by a mica slip.  The contrast of the polished and micaceous matte surfaces are striking.  Each of the circles is surrounded by a band of hematite hei-shi beads.  So, why hematite?  Russell has begun to use it on his recent pieces for several reasons. There is a traditional aspect in that women wear hematite bracelets when they do certain traditional dances at the Pueblo.  There is also hematite content in the clay slips use on the pottery.  The lid is a fully polished bear which is created with one paw raised. There is a wonderful sculptural aspect to the bear!  The piece is fired to a near gunmetal appearance which is striking with the high polish.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.

Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

 

$ 9,800.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Polychrome Jar with Birds, Sun and Lid

This is an exceptional lidded water jar by Russell Sanchez.  He continues to be one of the true innovators in Pueblo pottery.  Each piece is perfectly coil built, stone polished and etched.  This jar is a classic early San Ildefonso shape with a round shoulder, sloping sides and a turned out neck.  The base is polished black and the shoulder is polished a deep red.  It is painted “black-on-red” around the shoulder.  The main design area is polished with a cream-colored clay slip.  There are two large birds etched into the clay and they are separated by two sun designs.  Each of the design areas is highlighted with additional black and red clay slips.  The neck is etched with a mountain design and finally, the rim is polished a deep red.  The complementary colors and the variations of polished and matte areas on the jar are stunning!  There is wonderful detail throughout the entire piece.  The lid is fascinating, as the style is one found on some of the earliest San Ildefonso lidded pieces from the 1880’s.  The top half of the lid is polished black while the border is polished with the cream colored clay.  The jar has five bands of jet (black) hei-shi beads.   As Russell continues to innovate from historic designs, he says, “Tradition means moving forward and adding to it. You keep moving forward.  If we stayed stagnant we would no longer exist.”  The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay.  The last photo is an example of this style of lid on an early San Ildefonso polychrome jar.  It is exciting to see how this imagery is not new but Russell’s reinterpretation of it both modernizes and revives.

Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

$ 9,200.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Gunmetal Water Jar with Birds and Waterfall Rim

This is a complex water jar by Russell Sanchez.  The shape of the jar has a form with a rounded shoulder and a turned out rim.  The neck of the jar is fully carved with a “waterfall” rim, which consists of 32 segments.  Each is round out on both the inside and outside!  They are slipped with a micaceous clay.  The shoulder of the jar is fully polished and has three different birds.  Each bird is very delicately etched into the clay with a lot of detail.  The shoulder has diamond-shaped patterns again slipped with mica.  The lower band of design is inspired by the work of Florentino Montoya, from the early 1900’s.  They are flower and seed designs and each is different.  Much like these, Florentino would create one area which was different in a series as a “signature”.  Take a closer look at the seed designs in the plants and see that there is one which is different.  Separating all the sections are inset hematite hei-shi beads.  The So, why hematite?  Russell has begun to use it on his recent pieces for several reasons. There is a traditional aspect in that women wear hematite bracelets when they do certain traditional dances at the Pueblo.  There is also hematite content in the clay slips use on the pottery.  Russell also notes that when he is able to fire his pieces to a gunmetal appearance, the hematite captures the shine and also gives them a contemporary appearance.  As Russell has said:

“I’m a traditionalist all the way through.  Innovation is part of our tradition. You use the same materials and tools that you have, and the same design elements, and the Clay Mother will come through you for what she wants you to do,” he explains. “Instead of doing the same cloud pattern or serpent pattern, you take that and make it your own. So, in fact, everything I’m doing is old, but new.”  Russell Sanchez, Southwest Art Magazine

The jar is highly fired with a near gunmetal appearance to the surface.  The contrasts of polished, mica and polished mica give the jar a dynamic appearance.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, ‘Russell”.

Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

$ 7,000.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Red & Black Bear with Checkerboard and Sun Design

Russell Sanchez continues to be one of the true innovators in Pueblo pottery.  Each piece is perfectly coil built, stone polished and etched.  This bear is one of his classic shapes.  This bear is polished with a deep red clay slip.  The front has a sun pattern with a black mica clay line design in the center. The sun pattern is one that is inspired by the early pottery of Tonita Roybal.  The black of the bear has a black matte section along with a traditional San Ildefonso rain design.  The bear has a heartline which is etched into the clay.  The heartline which extends out from the mouth of the bear. The bear is a symbol of strength and the heartline is a traditional image used to symbolize the heart as the center of power in the animal.  The eyes are turquoise.  The bear is hollow as the piece is coil built.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.

Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

$ 3,800.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Polychrome Bowl with Sun Designs

Russell Sanchez continues to be one of the true innovators in Pueblo pottery.  Each piece is perfectly coil built, stone polished and etched.  This bowl is one of his first incorporating a polished white clay slip!  The white is the same white clay used on historic San Ildefonso polychrome pottery when it was stone polished.  This piece has a culturally inspired design with two different old style Sun Faces.  Each sun is different and they are meant to represent the Summer people and the Winter people at the Pueblo.  Each sun is etched into the white clay and they are highlighted with red and black clay.  The rim has a rain design while the base has mountains with the sun rising.  There is a striking degree of complexity in the etched imagery on this piece!  As well, it is a true polychrome with polished deep red, white, black, light red and matte tan, red and black clay colorations.  There are three inset bands of hematite hei-shi beads which encircle the bowl.  As Russell continues to innovate from historic designs, he says, “Tradition means moving forward and adding to it. You keep moving forward.  If we stayed stagnant we would no longer exist.”  The bottom of the bowl is indented, which reflects the historic San Ildefonso pottery with the indented base which would be worn on the head.   The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay.  The second to the last photo is of the bowl before it was fired. The last photo is of a similar Sun design from a San Ildefonso plate from the 1920s.  It is exciting to see how this imagery is not new but Russell’s reinterpretation of it both modernizes and revives.

Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

$ 6,800.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Polychrome Wedding Vase with Sun Design

This is wedding vase by Russell Sanchez incorporates three different colors of clay.  The top half is a lighter red clay, while the center band has a black clay slip.  The bottom of the vase is a deep red.  The wedding vase is etched with a sun designs extending down towards the base.  Note that one side has a checkerboard pattern etched into the clay while the opposite has dots.  Russell has been taking inspiration from the work of early San Ildefonso potters Tonita Roybal and Florentino Montoya for his designs.  They are not copied but his own interpretation and revival of these creative designs.  The shape of the wedding vase is elegant with a strong proportion between the shoulder and the spouts.  Wedding vases are considered difficult to polish as the handles and spouts create unusual angles and directions in which the piece must be turned.  It was traditionally fired and after the firing Russell inset two bands of jet hei-shi beads.  The vase is signed on the bottom in the clay.   Once again Russell deftly revives historic San Idlefonso designs and stories and uses them for his own contemporary work.

Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

$ 3,800.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Four-Color Double Lobe Jar with Waterfall Rim

This is an exceptional revival of a historic shape by Russell Sanchez.  The shape of the jar is a “double lobe”.  It is technically difficult to make as the coiling has to round in and out to create each of the “bowls” which seem to be sitting on each other.  Historically, these are inspired by cooking vessels which were set on top of each other.  The bottom section of this jar has angular carved eagle feathers swirling around the piece. They are polished black and the area at the very base is polished a light red.  Above the feathers is a checkerboard band representing corn alternating polished deep red and matte.  The center band, which Russell said was very difficult to polish, is light red coloration. The top “lobe” or bowl of the jar is polished a very deep red.  There are three designs which he has etched to encircle the jar. They range from a koshari to Early San Ildefonso inspired sun and rain designs.  Above and below the center band are checkerboard snow patterns in both black and light red.  Finally, the neck is polished black and the rim is a deep red. The inside of the rim has been carved with melon style ribs creating Russell’s distinctive “waterfall rim”.  There are so many technical aspects to the creation of this jar, from numerous clays to the form itself.  However, the final result is visually striking and very unusual.  The jar is signed on the base in the clay.  Once again Russell harkens to historic San Idlefonso designs and stories and uses them for his own contemporary work.

Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

$ 6,800.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Wide Jar with Old Style Birds and Waterfall Lid

This is a distinctive shape jar by Russell Sanchez.  The jar is wide and with a very flat top. The jar is fully polished and the shoulder of the jar is designed with a checkerboard snow pattern using a mica clay slip.  The top is fully stone polished and designed with stylized bird patterns. The birds on this jar certainly have a similarity to those found on Sikyatki pottery, but they are also found on older San Ildefonso pottery as well!  The two birds are different and designed with additional patterns for their bodies.  The tails of the birds are inset with hematite stones while the center of the bodies have a high-grade Kingman turquoise. As old as the designs are, Russell has presented them in a manner that seems very modern!  The lid is highly carved and has “waterfall” ribbed shape with a single piece of turquoise on the top of the lid.  The base of the lid is polished with the ribs are slipped with mica.  The jar is fired a deep black and the mica squares are very metallic in appearance. There are four inset bands of hei-shi beads around the jar.  The bottom of the bowl has the classic indention of traditional San Ildefonso water jars.  Russell uses these historic elements to keep them alive on his contemporary pottery.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, ‘Russell”.

Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

$ 8,800.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Carved Swirl Neck Jar with Bird Tail Design

This is a complex long neck jar by Russell Sanchez.  The shape of the jar is inspired by the work of his great-aunt, Rose Gonzales. The long, straight neck is one which she made famous and which Russell has modified in his current work. Here the neck has 16 carve swirling ribs.  The rim of the jar is polished, as is the interior of the neck.  The body of the jar is an exceptional shape which comes up from the base and then extends nearly flat to the neck!  That is always a difficult transition in coil-built pottery. The body of the jar is fully polished and it is etched with three stylized bird tail designs.  The style of the design is reminiscent of the work of early San Ildefonso innovators such as Tonita Roybal, Rosalie Aguilar, and Juan Cruz.  The transition to the long neck has a single band of mica and there are two bands of hematite hei-shi beads along with inset smaller round beads.  So, why hematite?  Russell has begun to use it on his recent pieces for several reasons. There is a traditional aspect in that women wear hematite bracelets when they do certain traditional dances at the Pueblo.  There is also hematite content in the clay slips use on the pottery.  Russell also notes that when he is able to fire his pieces to a gunmetal appearance, the hematite captures the shine and also gives them a contemporary appearance.  As Russell has said:

“I’m a traditionalist all the way through.  Innovation is part of our tradition. You use the same materials and tools that you have, and the same design elements, and the Clay Mother will come through you for what she wants you to do,” he explains. “Instead of doing the same cloud pattern or serpent pattern, you take that and make it your own. So, in fact, everything I’m doing is old, but new.”  Russell Sanchez, Southwest Art Magazine

The jar is highly fired with a near gunmetal appearance to the surface.  The contrasts of polished, mica and polished mica give the jar a dynamic appearance.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, ‘Russell”.

Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

$ 8,900.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Avanyu Handle Jar with Lid

Russell Sanchez has found inspiration in the signed historic San Ildefonso pottery for both shapes and designs on his pottery.   This unique jar is inspired by a bowl by his great-great-grandmother, Ramona Sanchez Gonzales.  In the last photo, the red bowl by Ramona can be seen, with the avanyu in relief on the side.  As well, Tony Da made a jar with lizard handles in 1967-8, which is now in the Philbrook Museum (#7095).  The black and sienna of the jar and the etched medallions are certainly a reference for Russell’s latest piece.  This jar has sienna medallions on each side. They are etched with traditional San Ildefonso birds.  Each medallion is surrounded by two bands of hei-shi beads.  The handles are in the shape of the avanyu, much as on Ramona’s bowl.  The neck of the jar has a cloud pattern and the remainder of the piece is a micaceous clay slip.  The lid is fired to a near gunmetal appearance and has a sienna top and a single inset piece of turquoise.  The bottom of the jar has a “foot” which is reminiscent of historic San Ildefonso pottery and it is also indented. The hei-shi beads are all made by the Calabaza family from Santo Domingo Pueblo.  The jar seamlessly blends the old with the new and creates a new vision of how potters can derive inspiration from the past while creating their own new vessels.

$ 5,800.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Waterfall Rim Open Bowl

This is a simple but very elegant open bowl by Russell Sanchez.  The shape of the bowl is a classic one for San Ildefonso for holding water.  The interior of the bowl is fully polished and the rim is carved with 36 melon ribs to create a “water fall” rim.  The symmetry of them give the bowl a unique appearance in terms of how the light reflects off the edge.  There is almost a silvery-gunmetal appearance to the rim which seems heightened by the deep black interior.  The exterior is a highly polished and slipped mica, which has a metallic appearance after the firing. While the bowl may seem simple in form, there is an inherent complexity to having it seem so strong with no design.  It is certianly always the challenge to an artist like Russel to restrain themselves and let the clay, form, polish and firing speak for itself.  That is the voice given to this bowl.  The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Russell”. Russell uses these historic elements to keep them alive on his contemporary pottery.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, ‘Russell”.

Click here to read: Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

$ 2,400.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Red and Black Jar with Carved Ribs and Lid

This is a Simple but elegant bowl by Russell Sanchez. He continues to be one of the true innovators in Pueblo pottery.  Each piece is perfectly coil built, stone polished and etched.  The top of this bowl is carved with hard melon ribs. Each rib extends to the mouth of the piece with a narrow edge.  Each rib is stone polished black.  The lower sections of the bowl are polished a deep red.  Around the side is a checkerboard snow design in black and tan.  The deep red color is a revival by Russell as it is the same red clay slip which was used at San Ildefonso in the 1920’s and 30’s.  Separating the various bands on the side of the jar is inset hematite hei-shi beads.  Note how small they are and the shine!  The lid is polished deep red with a single inset band of hei-shi beads.   The shape, creative design and highly polished surface are striking on this piece.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay.

Click here to read: Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

$ 5,400.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Large Checkerboard Bowl with Bear Lid

This is an exceptionally designed bowl by Russell Sanchez.  His recent work is a modern take on historic San Ildefonso pottery.  The sound shape of the bowl is perfect for both the etched designs and the bear lid, with a graceful flow of form. The lower half of the bowl is fully polished with a black micaceous clay slip and then etched with a sun design.  The sun design in one that was a pattern often seen in the work of Tonita Royal. Note how the design is further highlighted with a matte red clay slip, which is applied before the bowl was fired!  However, it is the space from the shoulder to the neck which is the visually dynamic part of this bowl. Russell has etched a series of squares which alternate from a deep polished to matte.  The square spiral in towards the mouth of the bowl and each row is separated by a band of shell hei-shi beads.  The checkerboard pattern is a cornrow design, with the small dots representing the corn kernels.  The bear lid is also polished black and the small dots on the edge of the lid are a visual repetition of the dots on in the design on the bowl.  The shape of the bear is very sculptural and the elongated head seems to perfectly match the wide shape of the jar.  Of course, the final touch is the inside of the bear is slipped red!  Wow!  A lot going on in one piece, that seems simple but there is a dynamic complexity inherent in the piece.  The piece was traditionally fired outside and it is signed on the bottom in the clay.  Simply perfect!

Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past

$ 8,900.00
Sanchez, Russell  – Large Gunmetal Bear with Hemetite, Heartline & Avanyu

This is one of the largest bears we have had from Russell Sanchez.  He continues to use traditional techniques and materials to create his stunning works in clay.  This bear is highly polished and fired to a striking gunmetal coloration.  The bear has a wide body and a sculptural form.  From the mouth of the bear is a heartline, which is a traditional image used to symbolize the heart as the center of power in the animal.  In addition, the bear is a symbol of strength.  On this piece, the heartline extends backward and rises up on the back and turns into an old style avanyu (water serpent).  The style of the avanyu and the fine-line etching are inspired by the painted designs of Tonita Roybal in the 1920s.  The back half of the bear continues the heartline and has two additional avanyu.  Across the back of the bear are eight bands of square hematite hei-shi beads.  So, why hematite?  Russell has begun to use it on his recent pieces for several reasons. There is a traditional aspect in that women wear hematite bracelets when they do certain traditional dances at the Pueblo.  There is also hematite content in the clay slips use on the pottery.  Russell also notes that when he is able to fire his pieces to a gunmetal appearance, the hematite captures the shine and also gives them a contemporary appearance.  As Russell has said

“I’m a traditionalist all the way through.  Innovation is part of our tradition. You use the same materials and tools that you have, and the same design elements, and the Clay Mother will come through you for what she wants you to do,” he explains. “Instead of doing the same cloud pattern or serpent pattern, you take that and make it your own. So, in fact, everything I’m doing is old, but new.”  Russell Sanchez, Southwest Art Magazine

This bear is a stunning example of how the history and culture of San Ildefonso Pueblo is modernized in concept in his hands.  The bear is signed on the bottom in the clay.  Simply stunning!

$ 9,000.00
Sale!
King, Charles S., “Spoken Through Clay”

Spoken Through Clay

A NEW  RELEASE SPECIAL:  $95.00, including shipping (US)! Check out the new review in the Denver Post!

 Just a few things which make this book unique!
*   The size!  The book is 11.75″ x 14.25″ and weights over 8 pounds!
*  The photography of the pottery is stunning, emphasizing the individual pieces.
*  Each caption is the artist discussing the individual piece on the page.
*  The artist “biographies” are from interviews with the artists and they discuss their art, culture, lives and history.
*  Organization: The book is not organized by pueblo or family, but entails new ways to think about the future of Native pottery.
*  Printing in Italy gives the book very high quality color and paper.
* The photos of the living artists were taken by Will Wilson using a tin-type process. He was a recipient of the 2107 New Mexico Governor’s Award for the Arts in photography!
*  The book features work by more than 30 contemporary potters and more than a dozen important historic potters.
*  There are essays by myself, Peter Held and Eric Dobkin.  They add to the overall understanding of the project a historic perspective.

_____________________________________________

August 18, Pasatiempo Review

“Charles S. King’s new book, Spoken Through Clay: Native Pottery in the Southwest, The Eric S. Dobkin Collection, is spectacularly heavy —which is a problem from a practical standpoint, because once you open it, you won’t want to put it down. With dreamy tintype artist portraits by Diné photographer Will Wilson, dazzlingly crisp images from Addison Doty, and intimate first-person essays written by dozens of artists, the book is a visually delicious, intellectually consuming foray into historic and contemporary Southwestern pottery. In short, prepare to swoon.

If you’re thinking of this as a coffee-table book, you’ll need to imagine a decently sized coffee table. The book is more than a foot tall and, when opened, two feet wide, but its outsize appearance belies the often delicate beauty of its contents: hundreds of individual pieces of pottery from Eric S. Dobkin’s exquisitely curated collection — arguably the largest and most important of its kind. Gallery owner, author, and Pueblo pottery expert King designed Spoken Through Clay to be approachable for those unfamiliar with Native American pottery. “In the age of social media, I wanted to make the book both visually striking and personal,” King said. The book opens with essays by King, Dobkin, and curator Peter Held, who calls clay “the most archival of materials … seductive, sensuous, responsive, geologic, and malleable.”

“I wanted the end result of the book to be that the reader would connect with the artists in a personal way, beyond just the art, and understand the time it takes to become an artist, to achieve success,” King said. Sprawling yet intimate, Spoken Through Clay introduces its readers not just to the beauty of Southwestern pottery but also to the fascinating stories of the people who make it.Iris McLister, Pasatiempo

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“It’s one of the things that makes us who we are. It’s what holds our family together. We are a family of potters. It’s our identity. People don’t realize how much work goes into it just processing the clay and making it. You have to do it with your heart.”—Linda Tafoya-Sanchez

 

FEATURED ARTISTS Grace Medicine Flower • Dextra Quotskuyva • Autumn Borts-Medlock • Jody Naranjo • Harrison Begay Jr. • Jordan Roller • Sara Fina Tafoya • Lonnie Vigil • Margaret Tafoya • Steve Lucas • LuAnn Tafoya • Loren Ami • Toni Roller • Popovi Da • Linda Tafoya-Sanchez • Mark Tahbo • James Ebelacker• Yvonne Lucas • Jeff Roller • Lisa Holt • Harlan Reano • Nampeyo • Jacquie Stevens • Nathan Youngblood • Jacob Koopee Jr. • Jennifer Moquino • Christopher Youngblood • Maria Martinez • Tony Da • Tammy Garcia • Virgil Ortiz • Joseph Lonewolf • Johnathan Naranjo • Nancy Youngblood • Les Namingha • Russell Sanchez • Christine McHorse • Richard Zane Smith • Rondina Huma • Susan Folwell • Dominique Toya • Jody Folwell

Spoken Through Clay features the pottery of iconic Native American artists from historic potters Nampeyo and Maria Martinez, to contemporary potters Tammy Garcia, Virgil Ortiz, and many others, are featured in a new book published by the Museum of New Mexico Press. Spoken Through Clay: Native Pottery of the Southwest showcases nearly three hundred pottery vessels from the acclaimed Eric S. Dobkin Collection, covering a wide range of mostly Pueblo artists from the Southwest.

“The physical scale of the vessels combined with the depth of the contemporary collection [is] breathtaking,” says author Charles S. King. The book is part of a “transitional process of looking to the clay, the vessel, and the potter’s voice and allowing the pieces to stand on the merit of their artistic integrity.”

The book includes portraits and voices of renowned potters speaking about their artistry and technique, families, culture, and traditions. Many of the artists are connected by Pueblos, generations, or family members. Dynamic color photography captures the depth and dimension of the pieces, while the artists provide an illuminating perspective through narrative captions. Artists, academics, collectors, family members, and gallerists add additional insight about the lives, historical context, and importance of these potters and their work.

SPOKEN THROUGH CLAY Native Pottery of the Southwest The Eric S. Dobkin Collection
By Charles S. King Essay by Peter Held

Artist portraits by Will Wilson
ISBN: 978-0-89013-624-9

352 pages, 320 color plates, 40 artist portraits

Publication Date: August 01, 2017
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Charles S. King is the author of Born of Fire: The Life and Pottery of Margaret Tafoya, The Life and Art of Tony Da, Virgil Ortiz: Revolt 1680/2180, and numerous articles on Pueblo pottery. He has served on boards of art associations, judged pottery at prestigious events, and lectures about the art form. His business King Galleries represents many of today’s leading Native potters and important historic works in clay. Charles lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

$ 125.00 $ 95.00
Sanchez, Russell & Arthur Lopez – Immaculate Conception & Avanyu Jar

Russell Sanchez (San Ildefonso) and Arthur Lopez (Spanish), have created unique collaborative works for the first time this year.  The vessel was made by Russell and stone polished with a black clay. The wood sections were carved by Arthur.  After the piece is carved, is covered in gesso (a glue made from rabbit hide) which is allowed to dry and then sanded.  It is painted with both natural and water color pigment.  Natural colored pigments, such as the brown, are derived from black walnut hulls.  Russell uses traditional clay from San Ildefonso, which is then coil built, stone polished and traditionally fired.  These are the time involved and historic foundations for this collaboration.

The jar has a black and red polished surface. The neck and base are polished black and there are very classic San Ildefonso style handles.  The central band is polished with a deep red clay. There are inset bands of turquoise hei-shi beads.  The coloration of the firing of the black is deep and a striking complement to the deep red.

Arthur and Russell said of this jar:

This jar combines to similar concepts, the Immaculate Conception and the pueblo Avanyu.  The vessel is a classic San Ildefonso water jar.  The black, red and tan are representative of the San Ildefonso polychrome pottery.  The jar is a “pot within a pot”, where the outer pot represents the acceptance of the pueblos of Catholicism.  People looked at the religion and not how it was forced on the pueblo people.  The avanyu (water serpent) encircling the back of the jar is representative of the avanyu as a symbol of cleansing.  In a similar manner the wood lid is a representation of the Immaculate Conception.  The painted section is painted in a Spanish style and has baby Jesus and a lamb, representing ‘the Lamb of God’.  So, much as the, “lamb of God washes away the sins of the world”, the avanyu is a cleansing force in the Pueblo world.

$ 9,000.00
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