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Extraordinary San Ildefonso Lidded Box with Bear and Deer by Russell Sanchez

Russell Sanchez holds an increasingly unique place among collectors of fine contemporary pueblo pottery. Russell was born in San Ildefonso Pueblo in 1966 and has lived there all his life. The grandson of renowned painter Abel Sanchez, he credits his Aunt Rose Gonzales as his main pottery teacher with Tony and Popovi Da and Dora Tse Pe as important influences. He is driven to perfection and grounded in traditional San Ildefonso pottery methods, yet has an adventurous artistic spirit. His work ranges from traditional Tewa forms to bold experiments in color, form and material. He is known for precision in stone polishing and incising and uses the highest grade turquoise and Heishe shell in many of his pieces. In addition to traditional slips, he is always on the lookout for new natural colored clays as he rafts and hikes in New Mexico. Russell has been the recipient of countless major pottery awards at Santa Fe’s Indian Market and the Heard Museum Show. His work is in many public and private collections including the Smithsonian and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture among others. It is a privilege to have Russell’s pottery in our gallery.

Russell makes maybe 1 box per year so this is a rare example. It construction is extraordinarily skillful with slightly rounded corners and a snugly fitting lid (as usual with Russell!). The bear design was influenced by his Aunt Rose's work; the deer is his own. Gorgeous high grade Kingman turquoise abounds even inside the stylized yucca handle. A glorious achievement!

Size: 5″ tall by 4 1/2″ wide
Condition: New
Provenance: Purchased directly from Russell Sanchez