Magpie Studio

Fabrication for Art and Science

About Us



Magpie Studio is directed by M.R. Barnadas, a visual artist with an insatiable curiosity, a love of wonderment, and a desire to facilitate learning through creation. Her art and science relationship began as an intern in research at The Field Museum of Natural History while studying at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 1997.

For over two decades Magpie Studio has produced scientific illustrations and models for many museums and independent research projects around the world. Studio methods include: traditional sculpting, painting & drawing techniques, casting/mold making, metal/plastic/wood fabrication, blacksmithing, bronze foundry work, archival restoration methods, textiles, electronics/ kinetics for art applications, heirloom craft processes, analog and digital print-based design, all with an emphasis on the innovative use of materials.

The plant and animal models/illustrations, pictured on this website, were informed by the research heads of various biological disciplines. From pharmaceutical silicone to bee’s wax, new materials are being used along with historically familiar ones, and both experimental and traditional modeling methods are applied. These images represent a selection of our technical skills as applied to the needs within the museum and scientific research. We love expressing our ingenuity and creative energy in detailed, quality work and problem solving to discover techniques, materials, and tools appropriate to creating realistic creations.

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