Sanchez, Russell – Red and Black Bear with 136 Inset Stones

4.75" long x 3"h

$ 6,000.00

WOW!  This is a striking red bear 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 with designs.  This bear is one of his classic clay bears.  The bear is hollow and it is fully polished a deep red coloration.  The inside of the legs is polished black, which is visually striking and a nice complement to the shine of the deep red.  There is a band of turquoise hei-shi beads separating the black and red areas.  Above the hei-shi beads is a row of 29 inset hematite stones on each side.  There are also hematite eyes for the bear.  Russell inset 38 turquoise stones on each side to represent the heartline.  The bear is a symbol of strength and the heartline is a traditional image used to symbolize the heart as the center of power in the animal.  Did you know that around 2005 Russell rediscovered the deep red clay slip which was used at San Ildefonso in the 1920s and 30s.  It is an extraordinary and rich coloration!  It is signed, “Russell” on two of the feet.  A spectacular new piece from Russell!

“I’m a traditionalist all the way through.  Innovation is part of our tradition. You use the same materials and tools that you have, and the same design elements, and the Clay Mother will come through you for what she wants you to do,” he explains. “Instead of doing the same cloud pattern or serpent pattern, you take that and make it your own. So, in fact, everything I’m doing is old, but new.”  Russell Sanchez, Southwest Art Magazine