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Cleo and Her Friends

Nathaniel and Alison with the sculpture Cleopatra and their creation

Nathaniel and Alison with Cleo and Her Friends, their 3D creation, and Cleopatra, the object that inspired their work

This past July, we and eight other high school students participated in the Metropolitan Museum's first 3D scanning and printing workshop for teens. During the weeklong intensive, we were introduced to the Met's collections of Asian, American, Oceanian, ancient Egyptian, and Roman art, and we then used specialized printers to convert photographs of some of these objects into 3D models.

Cleopatra plays an important role in history as both the last pharaoh and one of the only females to rule ancient Egypt. We decided to use the sculpture Cleopatra in The Charles Engelhard Court as the basis for our sculpture since we both find Cleopatra to be an inspiring figure. To accompany Cleo, we used the 3D printer to incorporate details found in other works of art throughout the Metropolitan. For instance, we placed a small bat from the work The Struggle of the Two Natures in Man, also in The Charles Engelhard Court, on her lap. We then attached the head of a cleric from a tomb effigy, found in the Medieval Sculpture Hall, to the back of her head and the bull from a posthumous portrait of a queen as Parvati in the South Asian galleries next to her feet.

This is the first time either of us has ever used a 3D printer. It was really cool to create a three-dimensional sculpture using a few pictures and some software. We can't wait until 3D printers are as widely used as regular printers.

Cleo and Her Friends

Alison and Nathaniel. Cleo and Her Friends, July 2013. Plastic polymer

Related Link:
Now at the Met: "The High-Tech Met"

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