Sanchez, Russell – Polychrome Plate with Bear Designs
This is one of the few plates we have had 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. The plate is fully designed with a bear in the center. The area surrounding the bear is polished white while the bear is etched away and highlighted with both black and red clay. It is very time-consuming to use multiple slips so close together and not get them to overlap. Note as well the little dots that are etched into the clay and then highlighted alternating black and red! In the center is a single piece of turquoise. There is a checkerboard pattern encircling the plate. On one side is an inset band of jet hei-shi beads and the other has green turquoise hei-shi beads The rim of the plate is fully polished a deep red. 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 plate is signed on the back in the clay. It is exciting to see how this imagery is not new but Russell’s reinterpretation of it both modernizes and revives.