Artist Media Series
This is a complex small bear-lidded bowl by Russell Sanchez. The bowl is round and fully polished. There is an etched avanyu as the design. The avanyu encircles the bowl has 72 inset pieces of turquoise and one piece of coral for the eye. There 34 pieces of coral inset around the body of the piece. Above and below the coral band are inset hematite hei-shi beads. Near the base, the jar is etched with rain designs. The bowl has a bear lid that is polished and has inset turquoise on the matte base and for the eyes of the bear. Overall, there are 123 inset stones on the piece! Of course, the lid is a perfect fit for the piece. 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 used on the pottery. The coral represents Summer clan and the turquoise, Winter Clan. The bowl and lid are both signed, “Russell”.
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