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Sandy Frank | HandWork

Sandy Frank’s evocative figural clay sculptures capture not only the external physical manifestation and traits of what she is depicting, but they also capture the internal, spiritual and psychological physiognomies of her subject.  They breathe for us.  She uses her medium, the age old process of shaping clay, to ground herself so that she can connect a modern consciousness to an ancient one. Clay is luscious and sensuous.  Frank fell in love with clay 30 years ago while living for a time on the Caribbean island of Grenada. She worked with local artisans.  There she learned from them. She went with them to dig up the clay, process it to create a workable medium and then worked with them to create and develop saleable art items.


With HandWork series Frank focuses on the variety of expressions found in hand gestures as the leading motif of hidden energies. She has created a visual language depicting internal psychological struggles, spiritual energy or pressures from community and interpersonal exchanges or conflict. From observation, Frank finds the quiet communication of the hands to be non-judgmental and non-cultural. In this way, they convey a universal and direct expression that can be interpreted on many levels.


Whether holding on, letting go or a simple gesture of support, the work is deliberate and intentional.  Frank has spent years exclusively perfecting her technique in clay.  She spends a lot of time with each piece to make each sculpture energetically and anatomically breathe and feel alive.  She sculpts using live models and builds hollow with limited armature if any.  Perfecting technique constantly, she works with a variety of clay bodies and finishing techniques to get her desired effect.  For instance, the white finish of Child Support reinforces the idea of purity while the dark grey enhances a life lived that is worth clinging to on the piece Holding On.  


Clay is flexible in creating from life and imagination and Frank excels at combining both in a believable way. She seeks to create beauty in her work but with some intrigue so that people will look and see something and wonder about it and then look again.