This is one of the few plates we have had by Russell Sanchez. The back and rim are polished with mica, as is the center medallion. The remainder of the piece is stone polished. The plate is designed with a Thunderbird, which was a design often used by his great-aunt Rose Gonzales. Russell said that he changed the design to match his style, with the lightning coming out of the mouth, the lightning for the feet and the central checkerboard pattern. However, each of the designs elements are reminders of the work created at San Ildefonso in the 1920’s to 40’s. The plate was traditionally fired and the last photo shows the firing process from red to the fire, then covered in manure (you can see the edge of the plate sticking out!), then after it was fired. It has a wonderful black, nearly gunmetal surface. Russell added hematite hei-shi beads in two bands along with a single piece for the eye. It gives the piece a very modernistic appearance. There are several views of the plate, as it was hard to either capture the design or the shine in photos! The plate is signed on the back the clay, ‘Russell”.
Click here to read: Russell Sanchez: Contemporizing the Pueblo Pottery Past