Sanchez, Russell – Black-and-Red Bowl with Heartline 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 bear is one of his classic shapes. The bowl is polished with black micaceous clay and there is a single band of deep red. Separating the black and red stone polished areas are two bands of turquoise hei-shi beads. The red area is etched with a checkerboard pattern. The lid to the bowl is a bear which is also polished black. Note how inside the bear legs it is the red clay slip. The proportionality of the bear and the bowl work perfectly! The bear has a heartline etched into the surface. Russell said that he was inspired by the use of the black mica clay on utilitarian vessels and how he could use it to better match his highly polished surfaces. The result is a black stone polished surface that has a high shine and a color that somehow ranges from gray to black to almost a blue, depending on the light! It is quite exceptional! The red is a recent addition to his pottery, and again, harkens to the early San Ildefonso pottery. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay.