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The project was to create three dimensional type and photograph is for a book cover. The titles were assigned but the story was up to us. "Mapping the Interior Realm" is the tale of a failed archeologist who accidentally discovers an underground world that had advanced thousands of years beyond our culture- before they were wiped out by a harsh and unforgiving plague. 
In order to make the 3D type, I made a large surface out of paper maché. I traced and carved out the letters of the title (in Helvetica, since I knew it would have to be very clear). Once I scooped out the newsprint to the point where illustration board showed through, I painted the surface brown. I covered it in a gaze/dirt mixture so that it would be protected if I made any mistakes, and then spent HOURS pushing dirt into the surface until it stayed securely, then sprinkled dirt haphazardly across the surface for a more organic feel! Pictures below.
The original idea was to layer paper and carve into it.