Sanchez, Russell – Black & Sienna Bowl with Bear Lid
This is a classic black-and-sienna bowl by Russel Sanchez. The bowl is fired to a gunmetal coloration. After the firing, Russell reheats the rim to create the “black-and-sienna” coloration. We use the term “sienna” to imply that it has been reheated or retired to remove the black, while the term “tan” means it has only been wet polished and fired once. The bowl is incised with three bear paws which are joined together by a mountain design. In the center of each of the mountains is a piece of hematite. So, why hematite? Russell has begun to use it in 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 also fired to a glassy gunmetal coloration. There is a single piece of turquoise on the top of the bear. Note the shape of the bear, with a very narrow base, which gives it a very sculptural appearance. Russell is one of the only Pueblo potters working today who is able to achieve this gunmetal firing with consistency. The jar and the lid are both signed on the bottom in the clay. A wonderful traditional and yet very modern piece!