Category: Display




onward and upward

A shot from “A long time ago…”

Be sure to check it out before July 30th, and don’t forget the lecture series!

Artist Lectures all begin at 4PM
July 7: Liz Vaughan & Baird Hoffmire
July 14: Lisa Abernathy & Lisa Shimko
July 21: Becca Barnet & Seth Corts & Michelle Jewell
July 28: Xin Lu & Trever Webster





AMNH October, November

 The Marketplace scene!

 The ship, with the pots I worked on.

  I sculpted the camel’s fur back on once the head was attached to the neck. I also applied the hair in the photos above.

 The camels are taking over.

I painted these garlic

Then made them into a rope! 

Oregano before

Oregano after I painted it

 Oregano finished!

So, I was temporarily hired at the museum to finish up the show, and all those photos represent what I was working on, which was, EVERYTHING! It was great, though. I learned a lot and hopefully I’ll be back there soon.




AMNH - September, October

What I’ve been working on this and last month.

 One of four camels, fresh out of the mold. Each piece needs 2 layers of “gel”, 2 layers of fiberglass resin (laying the fiberglass then wetting it down with stippling a brush over it) and then an edge layer of more fiberglass (then wet) then a gel to seal the edges. So, each piece gets about 9 layers before we can close it up. We hang it upside-down to set it so it doesn’t collapse inside the mold.

 One layer of gel-like polyester resin.

 The mold, taken apart. There are about 15 pieces total.

 The large abdomen piece.

 Another view.

 Pots – replicas from a sunken ship thought to be from the silk road era(s). These are cast in smooth cast and these few are broken open. I sanded the edges of the break to make it look more like a ceramic break. I also chased seams, and sealed bottoms on a lot of these pots. There will be 50-75 total. There are 30 now, 1/2 finished. A long way to go.

 Unpainted Rhubarb. I sculpted the two parts together. The leaves are vacu-formed plastic to plaster molds of leaves, and the stems are cast from real rhubarb stems.

 Kohlrabi – bulbs cast from real vegetables, leaves vacu-formed and in this picture, I am grafting them together.

 Indian gooseberries – I sculpted these, Steve helped me cast them, then I painted them.  1/2 painted gooseberries.

 Peepul figs – same process as the gooseberries.




American Museum of Natural History

I’m interning this summer at AMNH and I am working on fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, textiles, luxury goods, etc. for the Turfan Marketplace scene in the November-opening Silk Road exhibition.

I am mostly making faux fruit look more realistic by sculpting onto them or painting them, or both. I am also sculpting things from scratch as well as making molds and casts of real fruits and veggies.

Here are some examples of the work I am doing.

 These bananas are 1/2 finished. They’ve come in as generic plastic things, and by this point I have sculpted new stems and ends onto them, and airbrushed them a bit. They are missing the top parts in this photo.

These apples have been primed because when we got them they were a silly red color. Soon they will be painted, all the stems removed and replaced with real wood.

 Finished apples. Hand painted.


 1/2 finished figs. These were all the same so I cut them up and put them back together to vary the sizes. Then I sculpted new stems on a few of them. I painted them here, but they are still missing their detail work in this stage.

 Closer to being finished, but not quite.

 Finished bananas.

In most cases, I am given the species of the fruit, and told to figure out what that looks like, then go from the research I do. Sometimes the designers give me exact reference.

With these apricots, I just had to make them vary in color. The shapes and textures were pretty believable. 

Sometimes there is miscommunication, for example, like when the designers said “golden peaches” I found reference online saying that golden peaches were a deep red, when infact they are more yellow than apricots. I will start a new batch of peaches next week, but here are the ones I made. They came a light pink color and I painted them red and yellow.


These watermelons are going to be in a lead ice chest that one of the artists is making, and another artist is painting the watermelons. I sculped the stems because the ones that came on them were made of floral tape and wire. In this photo, they are of course, unpainted, but I will photograph them later when they are in the ice chest.

These plums are weird and made of silicone, I just dusted them up to make them look more realistic. 

I finally remembered to take a before and after shot.



This is seaweed I made from thermoplastic and a heat gun, paint and chalk.


I airbrushed all these, one at a time.


And I airbrushed these too. 

My next tasks involve sculpting indian gooseberries, and peepul figs, and then casting them so that I only have to sculpt about 5 of each, then painting them.

There’s so much more to do!


Recent bits and bobs floating around in the creative process


Follow @beccabarnet on Instagram for process shots and #boyfriendbruce