Sanchez, Russell – Polychrome Jar with Deer, Bear and Mountain Lion
This is a stunning new jar 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. This jar is a rounded shape with a short neck. The jar has three medallions, each is polished with a white clay slip. The animals are a bear, mountain lion, and deer. They are each inset with a piece of Lone Mountain Turquoise. The medallions are surrounded by a band of checkerboard polished red and matte designs. The area surrounding the full medallions is a polished black clay slip. There are old style bird wing patterns separating each of the medallions around the shoulder. As if that isn’t enough, the inside of the neck is carved with ribs to create a “waterfall rim”! It is then fully polished red all the way to the inside base of the neck of the jar! The piece is traditionally fired. The hematite hei-shi beads are inset after the firing. The coloration of the white, black and red are all reminiscent of San Ildefonso pottery from the early 1900’s. Russell has created his own variation using polished surfaces instead of matte. 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.