Artist Profile: Dixie Biggs
“In each of my pieces I try to evoke the sense of tranquility that one often finds during a quiet walk in the woods. Many of my sculptural pieces create a restful place on which my turned work sits.”
One look at Dixie Biggs’s work is hardly enough, but a single look is still enough to leave a lasting impression. What jumps out is a mix of serenity, whimsy, outrageous detail, and color. There are also the strong natural details, which Biggs ties back to her degree in agriculture and a love of the outdoors. “In each of my pieces I try to evoke the sense of tranquility that one often finds during a quiet walk in the woods. Many of my sculptural pieces create a restful place on which my turned work sits.”
Which brings us to her turning. Primarily self-taught, Biggs fist stepped up to a lathe in 1979. Although she quickly found that tool, a mini lathe wanting, the turning bug had bit. So she upgraded. Between that and her copy of Dale L. Nish’s Creative Woodturning, Ten years later, she became a full-time artist and woodturner.
Biggs doesn’t stop at turning, though. While many times her work begins at the lathe, she’ll often add detailed carving and color, be it pursed red lips on a teapot or blossoming sakura on a tea set. During her career, she’s built up a cache of techniques using rotary tools and a variety of burrs. From there, she’ll apply paint or maybe even some pyrography.
If you’re interested in Biggs’s work—and why on earth wouldn’t you be?—now’s your chance to learn from her personally. She’s one of the esteemed instructors at our first Fine Woodworking Hands On, taking place February 1–3. 2019, in Tampa, Florida. Her course is Get Creative with Colorful Relief Carving, where she’ll teach methods to using a rotary carving tool before adding further depth and dimension to the design with color. Learn the steps to applying multiple layers of color using a dry-brush technique with acrylic paints.
Now go ahead: Take some more looks at her work.
Click the “Launch Gallery” button bellow to see more of Dixie’s pieces.
We recently found this pair of videos filmed at the Mid-Maryland Woodturners Club and they demonstrate the fun and enthusiasm that Dixie brings to her classes:
Up The Wall - Dixie Biggs
Southern Exposure Date: 2008 Materials: Brown mallee Size: 2"h x 14" w x 9"d Photo: Randy Batista
Sakura Date: 2014 Materials: Cherry, pyrography and pigment Size: 6”h x 11” l x 5.5”w Photo: Randy Batista
Over My Head Date: 2016 Materials: Cherry, watercolor paint & pencil Size: 7” h x 6” diameter Photo: Randy Batista
Natural History Date: 2006 Materials: Cherry Size: 5.5"h x 5"diameter Photo: Randy Batista
Lucky Twist Date: 2009 Materials: Cherry, acrylic paint Size: 6.75” h x 4.25” diameter Photo: Randy Batista
Lip Service Date: 2010 Materials: Cherry , acrylic paint Size: 5.5” h x 5” w x 7” l Photo: Randy Batista
Green Tea Date: 2011 Materials: Green Ash, Watercolor paint and pencil Size: 6"h x 7"l x 5"w Photo: Randy Batista
A Break in the Pattern Date: 2016 Materials: Cherry, Brass Size: 8" x 8" x 2" Photo: artist