Sanchez, Russell – Polychrome Jar with Avanyu and Raindrop Rim
This is a creative polychrome 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 has a red polished rim that is rounded, creating the “raindrop” appearance. The neck of the jar is polished black and painted with red lines and inset with a single band of turquoise hei-shi beads. What is interesting is the polychrome avanyu encircling the jar. The avanyu is polished white and highlight with red and black clay along it’s back. Russell says he was inspired by this style in the polychrome pottery of Maria Martinez & Popovi Da (see last two photos). The avanyu has a turquoise inset eye. Below the avanyu the jar is polished black. 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.