Superb San Ildefonso Polychrome Lidded Box with “Great” Birds 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.
From the award-winning potter, an extraordinary tall lidded-box, the first he’s ever done in his storied career. The humorous birds are called ‘great’ birds and are harbingers of the water serpent, bringer of water. Many of Russell’s signature elements are present, but no mistake, the rare and difficult tall box form is the story here.
Size 8″ tall
Provenance from collection of the artist