Sanchez, Russell – Polychrome Bowl with Inturned Rim and Avanyu
This is a striking polychrome bowl by Russell Sanchez. He continues to be one of the true innovators and revivalists in Pueblo pottery. Each piece is perfectly coil built, stone polished, and etched. The bowl has a round shape and an inturned rim. The rim is polished a deep red coloration. The body of the bowl has an avanyu as the design around the shoulder and mountains near the base. The avanyu is etched into the clay before firing and then highlighted with additional red and black clay slips. The last photo shows the different clays Russell uses in a raw state. There is an inset piece of turquoise for the eye of the avanyu and four bands of hematite hei-shi beads. Russell also used copper leafing on two sections of the bowl. All the colors are derived from natural clays and inspired by historic San Ildefonso polychrome pottery (black/red/white), using many of the same clays! The colorations of black, red, and white are all seen in San Ildefonso pottery from the 1880s to about 1920. His deep red clay is another recent addition to his clay art starting around 2005. 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.” The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Russell”. It is exciting to see how this imagery is not new but Russell’s reinterpretation of it both modernizes and revives.