Sanchez, Russell – Polychrome Box with Bear Lid
Russell Sanchez continues to be one of the true innovators in Pueblo pottery. Each piece is perfectly coil built, stone polished and etched. This is a round box with a bear lid. The round shape is one that is seen at San Ildefonso Pueblo as early as the 1920’s (the last photo is a round box by Maria Martinez from the 1920’s). This box is polished red on the bottom band and black on the top. The center section has a white clay slip which is polished. It is designed with a rain pattern which encircles the piece. There are two inset bands of turquoise hei-shi beads. The lid is polished red and the bear is polished black. It is made so that the lid sits into the box. There is another band of turquoise hei-shi beads on the top of the lid. 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 box is signed on the bottom in the clay. It is exciting to see how this imagery is not new but Russell’s reinterpretation of it both modernizes and revives.