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.
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