Charlie Russel “was the first “Western” artist to live the majority of his life in the West. For this reason, Charlie knew his subject matter intimately, setting the standard for many Western artists to follow.”(www.cmrussell.org) He was internationally famous yet lived most of his life in Montana. Consequently a museum to honor him is located in Great Falls, MT. (To view some of his artwork and more of his history, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Marion_Russell.)
“The Russell: An Exhibition and Sale to Benefit the C.M. Russell Museum is the cornerstone of Western Art Week in Great Falls, Montana, and is the premier fundraising event for the C.M. Russell Museum. It will take place March 19-21, 2015.”(www.cmrussell.org)
This year, for the first time, they are accepting artisans who are not of the traditional “fine art” variety to be in “The Russell” auction. Andy Sanchez, Mike Roths, and Steve Henneford will all have furniture pieces in the auction. This will give furniture artists a prestige that they have worked very hard to achieve. “One of the difficulties in marketing artistic furniture has been to get into the best shows. The false conception is that furniture artists are only fine craft, whereas some have crossed the line into fine art,” explained Andy Sanchez. Chuck Fulchur, “The Great Western Show” directer, who also has a painting in the auction, said, “To my knowledge, this is the first time in the 43 year history of the auction that furniture was juried into the show.”
Several other events take place during that week including, “The Great Western Show” which is the largest living and design show in Montana. There are boot makers, furniture makers, clothing and jewelry artisans, nightly live music and of course the best in fine art. “The Russel” and the other shows surrounding it, make the weekend “much more than a western art exhibition and sale; it is a three-day western art experience.”(www.cmrussell.org) To learn more about all the shows and activities visit www.WesternArtWeek.com/shows
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This year has been a year where we have learned to appreciate the people in our lives who we love and who have had an influence in our lives.
Andy’s Mom, Libby Sanchez.
In November. Andy’s mother died. She was everything a Mother should be and we will miss her greatly. She loved her family and her gift was loving and serving people, inspiring others to be all they could be. She believed in you and made you believe in yourself.
Another loss this year for us was the death of Earl and Kathleen Hills who were a huge influence in our business and wonderful friends. To say they were an influence in our business is a great understatement. They changed the entire focus of our business which in many ways changed our lives. There are a multitude of furniture makers In NM and AZ who are building with Alligator Juniper who are also in their debt.
In 1996 Andy was building traditional South West furniture. Earl Hills walked into his store and showed Andy his first sample of the wonderfully figured, cedar like wood. He explained to Andy that he was cutting fire wood commercially and had come across some incredible large slabs of this unique wood and “I didn’t have the heart to cut it up into firewood.” He wondered if Andy thought he could use it for something.
“Probably the most beautiful North American wood I had ever seen; wonderfully figured, gorgeous rich color, massive in size. The book-matched set of slabs Earl brought me were 4″ thick, about 8′ long and averaged about 30″ wide. Neither he nor I realized they were over 1000 years old,” Andy explains.
Earl asked how much wood Andy thought he could use and he replied, “Everything you can bring me,” and that was the beginning of a 18 year relationship.
From then on, Earl and his wife, Cathleen, hunted the forest for these stately trees. Cathleen would walk through the woods searching for dead trees because they are protected trees in the Gila National forest and their permit only allowed the cutting of dead trees. It takes 1-4 years per inch of thickness to air-dry a thick slab of wood after it is cut green, but because some of these trees had been dead for up to 100 years, they were well cured already and Andy was able to use them immediately.
Andy’s first table was breathtakingly beautiful, not because of Andy’s skill, but because the creator of the universe had given him such wonderful material to work with.
Andy’s First Alligator Juniper Table. (1996)
Several times Earl and Kathleen invited Andy and his sons to go with them to harvest trees they thought were special so that Andy could tell them how he wanted them cut. Andy and his sons always left with a great appreciation for these hard-working, humble and loving people.
Before the day they brought us those beautiful slabs, no one, to our knowledge, was using alligator juniper for anything other than firewood and fence posts. We will always be grateful that this gentle, loving couple were able to see the beauty in these trees and “didn’t have the heart to cut it up into firewood.”
This is an from an old book we did on our furniture, about 1997-1998
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This passage sums up what we try to communicate with our furniture.
By denying spirit and truth to the non-human Creation, modern proponents of religion have legitimized a form of blasphemy without which the nature-and culture-destroying machinery of the industrial economy could not have been built-that is, they have legitimized bad work.
Good human work honors God’s work. Good work uses no thing without respect, both for what it is in itself and for its origin. It uses neither tool nor material that it does not respect and that it does not love. It honors nature as a great mystery and power, as an indispensable teacher, and as the inescapable judge of all work of human hands. It does not dissociate life and work, or pleasure and work, or love and work, or usefulness and beauty. To work without pleasure or affection, to make a product that is not both useful and beautiful, is to dishonor God, nature, the thing that is made, and whomever it is made for. This is blasphemy: to make shoddy work of the work of God. But such blasphemy is not possible when the entire Creation is understood as holy and when the works of God are understood as embodying and thus revealing his Spirit.
Wendell Berry. “ChristianitY and tbe Survival of Creation. ” Pantheon Books, 1992-3.
In the Bible we find none of the industrialist’s contempt or hatred for nature. We find, instead, a poetry of awe and reverence and profound cherishing, as in [the] verses from Moses’ valedictory blessing of the twelve tribes:
And of Joseph he said: ‘Blessed of the LORD is his land, With the precious things of heaven, with the dew, And the deep lying beneath, With the precious fruits of the sun, With the precious produce of the months, With the best things of the ancient mountains, With the precious things of the everlasting hills, With the precious things of the earth and its fullness, And the favor of Him who dwelt in the [burning] bush (Deut. 33:13-16, NKJV).
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Andy and I have recently celebrated our 40th anniversary! Considering we work together in a business which can often be stressful and have seven children (who can also be very stressful) we consider 40 years to be worthy of a big celebration. It has been only by the grace of God and we are still crazy about each other.
We have decided to take a trip to England this fall. We have been wanting go there every since we sent our first table over to show in Patrick Mavros’ Silver Gallery in London. That was 5 years ago and we now have, thanks to Patrick and his family’s support and help, two tables in Harrod’s of London. That is a really big deal for us and we would love to go see them there, so, this October we are making the trip.
In Patrick’s Gallery the Queen has sat at our table for tea as well as the King of Spain and other royalty. We may not get to see them while we’re there but we can dream!
This is the table we have just finished and are sending to London soon. Patrick asked us for a “drop dead georgeous table” and this is what we did. It is 11 feet long and as spectacular as we could make it. The inlays they used in this table are #8 Turquoise (a rare variety), Apache Gold Vein Marble, Malachite, red Coral, Azurite-Malachite, 2 Ammonites, Marble, Geode (shaped like a butterfly), and tri-color tiger’s eye.
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Creating a beautiful, authentic Western living space in your home has never been easier than when you furnish with handcrafted buffets and credenzas from Andy Sanchez, Aaron Sanchez and their family, longtime woodcrafters at Andy Sanchez Furniture who design natural wood furnishings for the home.
Located in New Mexico, the artists create Santa Fe-inspired pieces that are blended with Stickley-style Arts and Crafts designs. They have become a leader in fine furniture for everyday use. Andy Sanchez Furniture’s buffets and credenzas are beautiful, impressive pieces of furniture that should draw as much attention in the home as they do use. The rustic wood pieces incorporate semi-precious stones and other natural objects such as shells and coral, to create interesting, functional works of art.
Any Western-decorated home is not complete without a piece of furniture designed by Andy and Aaron – two of the industry’s most talented woodworking artists. They believe that just because a piece of furniture serves a purpose, such as housing fine table wear, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t also inspire those who gather around the table, credenza or buffet for a meal and conversation.
What’s more, handcrafted pieces made by Andy Sanchez Furniture can also be brought into the office or workplace to be used and admired. Every piece is finished with a hand rubbed oil and wax finish, making them durable while still showcasing their natural beauty. Transforming any space with authentic Western décor, brought to you by Andy Sanchez Furniture, will create centerpieces for discussion and admiration for years to come.
Complete your Western home with other authentic Andy Sanchez Furniture pieces including hutches, bar tops, sculptures and more. Accessorizing with complementary throws, pillows and rugs will tie in all the elements of your beautiful Western living space
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After a long day of work, taking care of the kids, running errands and doing anything else that makes life busy, where is the one place you can’t wait to get to? If you said your bed, well that’s our answer too!
Your bedroom is not only a place to rest your head at night, it’s also a room that truly reflects your style. When shopping around for that “perfect” bedroom set, you may be finding it difficult, as a lot of sets seem to all look the same and lack style and originality.
We’d like to offer you the chance of purchasing a bedroom sets that serves multiple purposes and is unique in its own kind.
First, our bedroom sets are crafted from the very finest of woods, making the bed extremely sturdy and built to last for generations. No synthetic materials are ever used.
Secondly, you can customize your bed by simply giving us a call and discussing what you like. We can mix wood varieties, sizes and styles to guarantee your bed is a reflection of the ideal bed for you.
Third, is our attention to detail. We enjoy inscribing pictures into the wood, adding wooden animal sculptures and back-lit headboards.
Fourth, our bedroom furniture reflects the American west. Now you can bring history and tradition into your home that you can be proud of. Moreover, you can complement the décor theme of your bedroom with other western art and/or decorations.
The time and attention we put into each piece of furniture we create, especially our bedroom furniture, ensures that people are provided with distinct options, rather than the same tiresome bedroom sets that you see in every corporate retail store. Our furniture is 100% original, and can really add an exciting and appealing element to the décor of your home.
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Few possessions in life are more versatile than a rocking chair. The rocking chair has been around for several centuries, and offers numerous benefits to owners. Here is a look at each aspect of the chair’s versatility.
Depending on the source, some credit Benjamin Franklin with the invention of the rocking chair, while others argue that they have been in existence in North America since the early 1700’s. Originally, rocking chairs were used near gardens, before becoming a staple of porch and living room furniture.
Part of the mass appeal of rocking chairs is their ligneous appeal. People are drawn to the craftsmanship of each chair, as no two rocking chairs are the same. Craftsmen have the opportunity to be creative in the design of the back, seat and armrests of the chair. The chair’s distinguishable features can depend on a variety of different factors, as well as the owner’s style and tastes. What’s more, the chair can serve as a stylish decorative piece, either as a mainstay on your porch, an antique in your living room, or a chair that matches the decorative theme of your home.
A rocking chair can also serve as a go-to chair to relax. It can be your favorite place to watch television, a place to read a book or the spot to take in sun rise/set. Plus, for many families, it has been the chair that mothers, fathers and grandparents have rocked their baby back and forth in for soothing purposes. There is something naturally settling about rocking back and forth, even when you are older. Simply put, there are few pieces of furniture that are as relaxing as a rocking chair, and even fewer that create so many wonderful memories.
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One of the most important aspects of a living room is the style, placement and design of a coffee table. A coffee table offers a variety of benefits. For starters, it can be an ideal place to rest your drinks, magazines, remotes and other loose ends you keep in your living room. It can also be a place to put your feet up as you relax on the couch, or a place to showcase and display decorations.
In addition to its practical usages, a coffee table can also be a wonderful way to express your tastes and personality. Like any piece of good art, a coffee table can add splendor and appeal to your home. A charming coffee table can enhance a room in your home just as much, if not more, than beautiful painting or something you found at an antique store. It can certainly become the center of conversation during a social gathering.
When shopping for a coffee table, it is imperative that you find one that properly fits your room and compliments your tastes. It should be comprised of quality materials, ensuring the durability and longevity of the table. Additionally, one must consider the height when selecting their coffee table. Ideally, you want the surface to be a little shorter than the height of your couch or sofa. Also, you may choose to put a glass surface atop the table. A glass surface is not only easier to wipe down; it is also a better surface to put a drink on.
If you are searching for a premium, unique and inimitable coffee table design for your residence, check out the selection at Aaron and Andy Sanchez. For over two decades, we have been adding grandeur to people’s homes by creating the furniture of their dreams. We can create a coffee table that corresponds with your distinct style and needs, using an array of different materials to top it off. Like all great art, there are no limitations to what we can design. Please contact us for more information.
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We have so much to be thankful for! We all know that, but I’m glad to be reminded of it and celebrate it every Nov. Especially thankful this year that we live in a country that votes for our leaders instead of having revolutions and riots. Don’t waste the opportunity!
We have some new projects I thought you might like to view, one in progress and one finished. I am also going to try to tempt you with a few Christmas gift ideas. Most of us are at least starting to think about it.
God bless you all,
(Anyone remember that show? We are old!)
Chess Set in Progress
Andy is working on a new chess set called, “Ancient Game”, The carved alabaster pieces are finished and he just needs to make the board table. The red and the grey alabaster are native to our area. We chose the gray alabaster to represent the native Americans.
The red alabaster seemed appropriate for the animal kingdom. A lot of the stones and soil in our area is red so the red would be a natural camouflage for our animals. Chess is a game of strategy and stealth, something that both the hunter and the hunted would need. With our chess pieces the hunter can become the hunted. It is only through their cunning that they have an advantage.
Andy and Skyhorse Saddles have collaborated on their second saddle. Andy, of course, did all of the wood and inlays. Loren and Lisa are world class saddle-makers and you can see more of their work at Skyhorse.com. The leather is all hand-carved. If you missed their first collaboration, you can find pictures on our blog which you can find a connection to on our web site page.
We have many more smaller and larger gifts for Christmas. Here are a couple for you to check out.
Call for more information
We have several cross and angel wall hangings with inlays of stone. $185
We also have a collection of Native American designs.
Framed Zuni design painted on wood by Carlton Comosona $500
|A Zuni representation of “Rainbow Man” $450
An original hand-painted hat-rack with horseshoe hangers. $175
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I’m sitting here working on this week’s Western Vault newsletter. The focus this week is western art. As I get deeper into it, I am realizing that there really is no end to what art really is. It can be paintings, sculptures, woodwork, leatherwork, jewelry, clothes (wearable art), and even interior design. Beyond that, the mediums are also endless- canvas, bronze, clay, cloth, leather, wood, your home, gourds, and the list goes on. No matter what medium is used to create whatever piece of art is created, there is one common denominator. That is vision.
Gourd Art by Jodi Finkenbinder
Leather Art by Clair Kehrberg
Bronze Sculpture by H. Clay Dahblerg
Canvas by Steve Devenyns
All of the artists that I work with create their one-of-a-kind pieces with their own hands and are guided by a unique vision- whether it be a specific event, a story from their own lives, something or someone they love, or just something that means so much to them that they want to share it with others.
When I met Andy & Cheryl Sanchez at a show in Grapevine a couple of weeks ago, I was admiring their woodwork. I had seen it in pictures, but pictures do no justice to the beauty in every one of their pieces. The way that they let the wood guide their designs is absolutely amazing to me. The visions that they have for each piece of juniper are guided by the wood itself- the direction of the grain, the imperfections, the unique qualities and personalities. Did you know wood had personality? I didn’t until I saw Andy & Aaron’s work firsthand. WOW.
Redwood Bar Table by Andy & Aaron Sanchez
At the show, Andy caught me looking at one of Aaron’s sculptures called “Business Distractions.” I understood most of the story without any explanation at all, but Andy completed it for me. The story is of two businessmen’s attraction to one woman. They watch in admiration as she glides down the sidewalk. I got that, but Andy told me the rest of the story. The raised piece of wood that I portrayed as the sidewalk is wavy to represent the woman’s perfume trail. A woman walks down the sidewalk, leaving a beautiful trail of perfume that captivates the men as she passes by. Aaron’s unique vision of this particular piece of wood is something I would never be able to see in its raw state. That vision is what separates great artists from the rest of us.
“Business Distractions” by Aaron Sanchez
See the sidewalk and the perfume trail that follows the woman? I love this piece. I’m so thankful for artists that can see beautiful things in what I see as the most ordinary objects. My world would be so dull without them!
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