Sculptures on Canvas:

 

Debra Hand began experimenting with various base-materials and finishes in an attempt to recreate the look of metal, iron, bronze, and stone.

"I consider myself somewhat of an illusionist when it comes to finishes.  I always try to bring something new to the medium I am working with.  I love the look of metal, iron and bronze sculpture, but I want to be able to create my pieces without having to depend on a foundry.  I want to be able to create each piece in my own studio, from start to finish..." says Hand.

This was one of the first challenges Hand faced as a self-taught sculptor.  The challenge of creating alternatives to conventional sculpting tools and processes.  "Since I was raised by a culture where 'making due' was probably the first real art-form, it's kind of a trained instinct to look at things in terms of potential alternative uses.  None of my tools or methods are traditional.  Nor is my approach to creating because there has never been anyone there to say, this is how you 'must' proceed.  When I get an idea for a piece, the idea really just represents the problem that I need to solve; the completed sculpture, itself, will represent the solution.  In between those two points -- from the moment I start gathering materials -- necessity will give birth to creativity and creativity will give birth to necessity.  But all the while, I am only continuing the same tradition of problem solving and creativity that  in harder times led my culture to invent improvisational substitutes such as the coat-hanger antenna; only I am using it in art and adding a contemporary flair."