Data + Design Project

3D Typography in Layers of Colored Wax

Monday 10.22.2012 , Posted by
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These typographical sculptures may look like they are carved from some precious, multi-colored stone, but in fact they are molded layer by layer out of something far more available: wax. Artist Keetra Dean Dixon in collaboration with JK Keller, have been creating these massive pieces for a number of years now. The deeply embossed typography in their work is surrounded by layer after layer of color, as if the letters are being hugged by the wax. In the current issue of 8 Faces magazine (number 5), Keetra Dean Dixon explains a bit of the process behind each piece:

We cut positive type forms and position them on the top of the grid, and we take hot wax and manually start coating all of those letterforms and catching the drips underneath in the basins. And as the layers cool, we shift the colour of the wax that we’re applying to them and we manually layer again and again until it builds up a mass of wax. […] Then we have to take the positive letterforms out of the interior of the wax piece. – 8faces.com

Keetra Dean Dixon creates far more than what you see here: her website is full of print, installation and sculptural works of many intriguing styles. Perhaps because of this diversity and the fact that it is all impressively presented, she has been recognized on several different fronts, from a US presidential award, to a place in the permanent design collection at the SFMOMA. Find more or purchase a piece at fromkeetra.com.

See Also New York New York: Filming New Work from Tilt

Above and below: And Yet. Collaborative work with JK Keller. 47″ × 27″ × 8″, Wax & acrylic paint, 2011.

Below: Become, in orange. Collaborative work with JK Keller. Commissioned work for the 2009 US Presidential Inauguration. 24″ × 13″ × 7″, Wax, acrylic paint & foam, 2009.

Below: Throughout, aka “I’ve been thinking of you for a while.”. Collaborative work with JK Keller.
54″ × 14″ × 6″, layered wax & acrylic paint, 2008

Below: Become; in green. Collaborative work with JK Keller. Commissioned work for the 2009 US Presidential Inauguration. 24″ × 13″ × 7″, Wax, acrylic paint & foam, 2009

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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