Sanchez, Russell – Polychrome Jar with Avanyu and Bear Lid
Stunning! This is an amazing jar 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. This jar is a classic San Ildefonso water jar shape. What’s hard to see in the photo is that right at the shoulder there is a dip down before it rises up to the neck! The jar is polished with a white clay slip and then etched with an avanyu around the shoulder. The avanyu has an inset piece of Lone Mountain Turquoise. The area of the design which is etched away is then slipped with a black clay. Above the avanyu is a checkerboard pattern while below is a checkerboard with linear designs. Around the neck are cloud designs which are slipped with black and red clay. The rim of the jar is polished red. The bear lid is the perfect addition to this piece with both polished black and red surfaces! The colorations of black, red and white are all seen in San Ildefonso pottery from the 1880’s to about 1920. His deep red clay is another recent addition to his clay art. There are six bands of hematite hei-shi beads. 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 jar 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. The last photo is a polychrome jar by Florentino and Martina Montoya as a reference for the historic polychrome coloration.