Sanchez, Russell – Box with Checkerboard Design & Flying Bird Lid
This is a very creative box by Russell Sanchez. His recent work is a modern take on historic San Ildefonso pottery. This box is etched with three horizontal bands which alternate between matte and mica areas. Believe it or not this is very difficult to carve the horizontal lines into the clay and have them all turn out even! Then there are is the checkerboard pattern. In the center of each square is an incised “dot” which makes it a corn design. This may seem to be a simple design at first glance and yet it is one of the more precision challenging pieces Russell makes, any line was not perfectly even would throw off the design. The rim and bottom band are fully polished and the interior is slipped with mica. There are four rows of inset hematite hei-shi beads. The lid is exceptional as it is a bird in flight! The base of the lid is polished while the bird is slipped with mica. There are hematite eyes for the bird. The jar and the lid are both signed on the bottom in the clay. In terms of the round shape, it is a style of box seen at San Ildefonso in the 1920’s. This jar is a wonderful revival of a historic shape!