Around 2012, I had the desire to make an object. I didn’t want to make another 2D drawing or image, I wanted to make a thing — something you can hold in your hand and touch. I thought about it for a while, and the idea of making a six-sided ikon – or Hexikon – came to me. They would be four-inch cubes of wood, sanded down, painted gold, and then I would glue color prints to each side. I would use the same engraving collage technique that I used in my Dream-Dollars and moneyart, but do some heavy fantasy and surrealism with it.
First, I got an eight-foot long board of 4 x 4″ cedar wood. I cut it into 4-inch squares, and sanded them down to smooth, rounded cubes with a belt sander. Above, you can see the cubes getting their first coat of gesso to seal the surface and prepare it for paint. After a couple of coats of gesso, I painted the cubes gold, silver, bronze, or copper depending on which Hexikon I was making.
After the cubes had a couple of coats of metallic paint, I glued down the six color prints that I made for each Hexikon. Above is my “cheater,” I made a dummy cube for each Hexikon so I wouldn’t screw up how I glued them down! There was a specific way they needed to be on each cube, because the imagery and symbols on opposite sides related to each other.
The final step is the application of four coats of polyurithane. Yes, a minimum of four coats (sometimes more), with sanding after each coat. It was difficult to avoid bubbles, so you had to paint with care.
The Hexikons were fun to make — I love working with my hands — but they were very labor-intensive! Each Hexikon took many hours of work, even doing them in batches, each batch took more than a week to do, as they all needed an overnight drying period for each coat of gesso, paint, and urithane. Bottom line, I still have a bunch left, but when these are gone, I don’t think I’ll be making any more.