Sanchez, Russell – Polychrome Bear with Heartline and 50 Turquoise Stones

5.5" long x 3.25"h

$ 5,600.00

This is a complex and intricately designed polychrome bear by Russell Sanchez.  He continues to be one of the true innovators in Pueblo pottery.  Each piece is perfectly coil built, stone polished, and etched.  The bear is fully polished with white clay.  Note the sides of the legs with the triangular-shaped opening in black clay and outlined in red.  This is a new variation for him with the bears.  The legs are slipped with red and black clay.  The bear has a heartline that extends from the head to the back foot.  The top has cloud designs etched into the clay and then slipped red and black.  There are 50 inset turquoise stones on this piece and ten hematite stones for a total of 60 pieces!  The stone on the back has a large central stone that is surrounded by smaller ones.  There is a jewel-like quality to the way he inset the stones.  Did you know that all the etching and all the clay colors have to be carefully applied BEFORE the piece is fired?  This adds time to the polychrome pieces, but also adds to their distinctive appearance.  The bear is signed on the foot, “Russell”.  As Russell continues to innovate from historic designs, he says, “Tradition means moving forward and adding to it. You keep moving forward.  If we stayed stagnant we would no longer exist.”  It is exciting to see how this imagery is not new but Russell’s reinterpretation of it both modernizes and revives the clay.