Sanchez, Russell – Polychrome Bear with Heartline, Feather Design and Turquoise

5" long x 2.75"h

$ 5,200.00

This is a detailed 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 micaceous clay  The incised dots surrounding the legs are slipped with red clay.  The bear has a heartline that extends from the mouth backward. The back of the bear is incised with two large stylized feathers designs.  The one in front is primarily red and the one is back is primarily black.  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 designs on the back are inset with six small turquoise stones, ten hematite stones, and two larger Morenci turquoise stones.  There are also turquoise stones for the eyes.  There is a jewel-like quality to the way he inset the stones.  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.