the messenger

 |  April 24, 2009

A few weeks ago I posted about my experiments with altering a barbie using plaster and encaustic. Well she’s done!

the messenger

close up of branches

The hardest thing with working on a sculptural piece with encaustic was the fusing. I had to be thorough but quick when I applied my heat gun so as not to have all the wax drip off.


This was definitely out of my comfort zone as I have never altered a doll before and I don’t normally work in 3D. But I just really loved working this way! I used to work in clay a long time ago, in high school, which in my mind doesn’t really count. But back then I was always incorporating trees and branches into my sculptural pieces. And the love of branches and trees continues…

a poem inscribed on her back

If you want to see more detail photos, or larger images of the photos shown here, just click on the images and they should take you to my flickr site.

Thank you to Patricia Anders for the kick in the butt to do this!


  1. by Lumilyon on April 24, 2009  3:24 pm Reply

    How beautiful! I shall look at Barbie in a different light from now on.

  2. by Carmen on April 24, 2009  3:34 pm Reply

    Bridgette!!! She is incredible! Great job!

  3. by Leslie Avon Miller on April 24, 2009  3:55 pm Reply

    Stunning! I love her gesture! Barbie never looked so real! What did you use to inscribe the poem?

  4. by Wild Somerset Child on April 24, 2009  4:16 pm Reply

    This is lovely and what fun you must have had, even if you were out of your comfort zone.

  5. by Janette Kearns Wilson on April 24, 2009  5:38 pm Reply

    She looks like that early Greek sculpture....can't remember the name
    Good work to take risks

  6. by Angela Wales Rockett on April 24, 2009  6:13 pm Reply

    Amazing, Bridgette! And good for you for really experimenting. I am so impressed.

  7. by merci33 on April 24, 2009  8:14 pm Reply

    Barbie has not ever been part of my experience or consciousness although I'm well aware that this year she has turned 50...
    I love that you have transformed her into an earth goddess elevating her to the level of a talisman and power archetype. what a blast!

  8. by Cathy on April 24, 2009  8:42 pm Reply

    You did an excellent job!

  9. by LostLuggage on April 24, 2009  9:11 pm Reply

    This is perfect, Bridgette!! REALLY amazing..well done!

  10. by shebaduhkitty on April 24, 2009  11:33 pm Reply

    that is so cool. I love the flying hair!

  11. by Michelle Johnson on April 24, 2009  11:38 pm Reply

    Stunning~ I saw your first picks on this a few weeks ago and I can't believe the transformation. You've out done yourself here. Well done. Thanks for sharing her with us. Have a nice night.

  12. by Cynjon on April 25, 2009  12:27 am Reply

    I **REALLY** hope we get to see more in the 3D realms from you in the future, Bri!

  13. by Jeane on April 25, 2009  2:20 am Reply

    you nailed it! she's crazy good!

  14. by Meri Arnett-Kremian on April 25, 2009  9:38 am Reply

    Wow - the vision that took you here is amazing. It took you out of your comfort zone and to a place that goddesses inhabit. Well done!

  15. by Compost Studios on April 25, 2009  2:01 pm Reply

    The best thing that ever happened to Barbie. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, she became real.

  16. by City.Girl.Em on April 25, 2009  8:08 pm Reply

    What an absolutely groovy idea! I love it! The twig legs are a very nice touch. Way to go!

  17. by Gina on April 25, 2009  11:08 pm Reply

    Great altered Barbie! I love the little touches—the bird, the poem, the twigs. To me, she looks mythic, like an ancient Goddess. Sometimes we make the greatest creative leaps working outside our comfort zone.

  18. by azirca on April 26, 2009  4:30 am Reply

    This is very cool indeed! Amazing actually - considering you felt out of your comfort zone. I would say that you have discovered a hidden talent there. I love the poem on her back and the exposed branches.

  19. by Mixed Media Martyr on April 26, 2009  5:23 am Reply

    When I first saw you starting this project I had no idea that the end product would look so beautiful!!

  20. by Seth on April 26, 2009  8:09 pm Reply

    Wow. Quite impressive. Her posturing is really intriguing and I love those brabches. Well done!

  21. by Regina on April 27, 2009  11:06 am Reply

    This is gorgeous!

  22. by rivergardenstudio on April 27, 2009  1:41 pm Reply

    This is an amazingly beautiful piece... I love her gesture, the flying hair, the poem inscription and especially the branches... Roxanne

  23. by JonesMoore on April 27, 2009  3:30 pm Reply

    this is fabulous!! I have been thinking of 'waxing' a paper mache torso that's been lying around for years, now I'll try it! Thanks for the inspiration.

  24. by bridgette on April 27, 2009  4:00 pm Reply

    Thank you all for your comments! I think I may keep on exploring doing sculptural encaustic work.
    Gina, I agree with about taking risks. It's well worth it.

  25. by 2 Dog Studio on April 27, 2009  11:57 pm Reply

    More inspiration from you! At first glance I thought there was a bird in her hair but see from more photos that it is only her hair. I had never heard of altering a Barbie so thank you for that enlightenment! A truly beautiful piece of art.

  26. by wanda miller on April 28, 2009  1:12 pm Reply

    incredibly outstanding on her own and your own. what a grand idea. and have to add the "barbie" part...who would ever imagine it's a barbie!? thanks :} wanda

  27. by Poetic Artist on April 28, 2009  11:54 pm Reply

    Your Barbie turned out wonderful.
    Love it.

  28. by Joy on April 29, 2009  2:16 pm Reply

    Barbie turned out great. I want to get regular, unaltered ones and stick them in the ground in my flower bed... they'll be like little fairies hiding amongst the flowers... I think they should probably be naked, though for the full effect. Hey, I'm headed to the second hand store right now to buy some!

  29. by Karin on April 30, 2009  11:52 am Reply

    oh man Bridgette - I am loving this!! I can definitely see how having worked in clay translates - combining your sensibilities... OMG I get excited just imagining what you will create further!!

  30. by Shayla on May 1, 2009  4:49 pm Reply

    I had missed the barbie posts. FABULOUS! I love the way she's changed into something "real." Unlike the original, this one's got soul. I was a 'barbie girl' when I was a kid and I hate that when I was four, I already figured this doll and all she stood for was the only female ideal. Awesome project, Bridgette and thanks for sharing the link.

  31. by Shirley Ende-Saxe on May 3, 2009  7:18 am Reply

    This looks like an ancient icon and is a definite improvement on it's armature, very mysterious and knowing.

    Thanks for your comments on "Apollo"!

  32. by Lost Aussie on May 3, 2009  9:29 pm Reply

    Fabulous, this is a wonderful interpretation of Barbie!

  33. by Leah on May 10, 2009  5:35 pm Reply

    Oh, she's just stunning, Bridgette!!

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