The works that David Hanson creates are transformations of metal. Beginning with a flat sheet of copper, brass, or bronze, David uses a hammer to transform the metal into a three-dimensional closed form, such as a vase or bowl, through a process called raising. No seams are formed, nor is any soldering done; it remains a single piece of metal. The piece is worked over a stake, which is simply a shaped piece of steel like an anvil. These non-ferrous metals become hardened and brittle when worked with a hammer and must be annealed, or softened, by heating repeatedly during the raising process. Each strike of the hammer produces a slight bend in the metal where the metal bends over the stake. Tens of thousands of hammer blows are often required to produce a finished piece.
With the necessary skill, knowledge, and patience, a single flat copper sheet can be turned into forms that seem to be nearly impossible.