Sanchez, Russell – Red & White Water Jar with Avanyu (1989)
This is a traditional water jar by Russell Sanchez. The jar has a round shape and an elongated neck. The jar was made in 1989. The base is polished red and the neck is polished white. Around the shoulder is a mica slipped avanyu with a single inset piece of turquoise. Note the clouds and sun extending down in the design from the white slip on the neck. The late 1980s was a creative period for Russell’s pottery. My parents began carrying some of his pottery in the early 1980s and he was truly an early innovator using various colors of clay on one vessel and experimenting with new shapes. This jar is not just the polished white and red, but the addition of micaceous clay as part of the design. It not only added another color, but the sparkle of the mica was a visual variation from the shine of the stone polished surfaces. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Russell Sanchez”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair.
As Russell has said:
“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