Sanchez, Russell – Gunmetal Jar with Checkerboard Design & Fish Lid
Stunning! This long neck jar by Russell Sanchez is fired a gunmetal black. Russell’s recent work is a modern take on historic San Ildefonso pottery. This jar is incised in 9 horizontal bands with a checkerboard design. The designs alternate between matte and micaceous areas. Believe it or not this is very difficult to carve the horizontal lines into the clay and have them all turn out even! As well on this piece, note how the size of the square is smaller at the neck and then larger at the shoulder, matching the shape of the jar. Separating each of the 9 bands of the checkerboard are 10 strands of hematite hei-shi beads! The lid is very sculptural in the shape of a fish. The base of the lid is gunmetal and the fish is matte. However, he slipped it with green clay so that when it was two-toned, there is a green and sienna coloration. WOW! The fish has hematite eyes. As Russell said, it’s like the sun is reflecting off the back of the fish! The gunmetal coloration from the firing is striking and it is the result of it being fired longer and hotter than just a black piece, so that the surface has a very metallic appearance. Russell is one of the only Pueblo potters working today who is able to achieve this with consistency! This may seem to be a simple design at first glance and yet it is probably one of the more precision challenging pieces Russell has made in a while, as if any line was not perfectly even, it would throw off the design. The jar and the lid are both signed on the bottom in the clay. A wonderful traditional and yet very modern piece!