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Virgo's Alchemy - Kendra M Gilbert

Virgo's Alchemy - Kendra M Gilbert
Figurative Art Doll Mixed Media Artist and Artisan Soap Maker

Virgo's Alchemy - Lawrence "Larz" Gilbert

Virgo's Alchemy - Lawrence "Larz" Gilbert
Master of Stained Glass, Visionary, Builder of Strange & Beautiful Things

About my Life...

I now live at over 8500 ft nestled high up in the mountains of Beautiful, Magical, Enchanted Colorado with my small family consisting of my talented loving husband, our youngest son (oldest just left home to go to college) my awesome and amazing dad, a breeding colony of New Caledonian Crested Geckos, our pack of Alaskan Malamutes...who could very well be considered Dire Wolves... and our Cat - The Great and Powerful Ozzie.

I was born in Florida, and partially raised in Arkansas from about age 7 to 16. I learned to appreciate Arkansas for it's rural open landscape. The smell of fresh air, wild honeysuckle in bloom, clothesline dried linens, and the occasional sweet stench of horse manure are all very fond memories, even during darker times. I recently left Florida with my family seeking peace and balance in my life. The terrain in Florida was always a bit too flat for me and the beaches have all but lost their allure with the stampeding of constant traffic and tourism. Sometimes, just sometimes, it's nice to experience life without all the chaos and heaviness of the city. My dad always wanted to be a cowboy, so I figured, what the heck. So we made a huge leap of faith in June 2016, and I have never been more happy before in my life.

As a young person, I loved to draw - unicorns. Just unicorns, nothing else. I was infatuated with the myth, legend and folklore. It was my way of "escaping" reality, which I did every chance I could get. Eventually I started to understand the beauty and priceless wonder of what being alone with nature was all about and soon my imagination hurled me forward into the realm of infinite possibility. I owe a great deal of who I am today to those days I spent in my fantasy world, and although life sometimes throws lemons at us, we must try to always look for ways to make lemonade.

In school, I showed a very promising ability in the arts. I could draw, paint, color, cut and paste with a precision that rivaled even some of my teachers. I would often be selected out of the group to assist the teacher with special projects that required a creative touch. My love of art grew over the years, but then I slowly drifted into my teenage years, and for awhile, became a bit lost. But like all teenagers, I made my mistakes, and then I made the best out of it, and began focusing on a career in business administration and accounting - but I never gave up on my love for the Arts.

My previous professional background includes many different areas of interest and experience including owning my own retail store, freelance web and graphic design, and ecommerce sales. My passions also include a great interest, respect, and love for Alternative Healthcare and Holistic Medicine. After many years in customer service, sales, and executive level administrative roles, I started to become very interested in healthcare and decided to pursue a different professional direction. I went to one of the Country's leading Massage Therapy Schools, Cortiva Institute, fell in love with anatomy and physiology, and Chiropractic Medicine. I graduated with honors and immediately started working in medical offices treating patients suffering from injuries. Eventually I realized I wanted to learn more about the different forms of alternative medicine, and became highly interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Herbal therapy, and other Holistic and Alternative Medicines. I became certified in Bach Flower Essences, Tuning Fork Therapy, and even tried my hand at Energy Work.

In approx 2003, even after gaining a ton of experience in the corporate world, I found myself feeling very unfulfilled and missing something in my life - I knew I needed a creative outlet. So one day I was surfing the web and came across a delicious discovery: Polymer Clay Art Dolls. Fairytasia, Goddess Dreams, Enchanted Hearts, and CD Lite Studio were just a few of the many early Artists that inspired me. I instantly fell in love with the idea of being able to create just about anything with this versatile medium and thus began my mad obsession with sculpting.People don't realize the amount of time and energy it takes to fully develop skill and knowledge with creating Figurative Art Dolls out of clay.  There are many Do's and Dont's, as well as proper and improper ways of using polymer clay so that you end up with a professional work of art, rather than a ticking time-bomb... waiting to crumble away and self destruct...  I thought I was ready years ago to enter into the Collector's Market, but I lacked the confidence that I should have had if I really knew my medium - like I do now.

In 2007 - a few years later after falling in love with figurative sculpture, I discovered the art of making handmade soap. Don't ask me how I found this art form, or why I became so fascinated with it, because I honestly don't know...but I do know I love it because it allows me to combine art with chemistry to create something that is actually needful, and used by most everyone, each and every day.  When I need a break from sculpting, I make soap - and the results are usually amazing, as well as creatively therapeutic for me lol.

Virgo's Alchemy encompasses my love for creating strange and unusual things out of ordinary and rather boring stuff.  Lifeless lumps of cold hard clay become whimsical and enchanted creatures - the ultimate creative outlet for me.  Then we have vegetable fats, oils and other goopy, gloppy and rather boring ingredients that are turned into beautiful, scented and useful products for people to enjoy. I truly love what I do.

My love for one of a kind art dolls has grown stronger and stronger over the years, and my appreciation for Nature, Fantasy, Gothic, Cirque De Soleil - among many other reality shifting areas of interest, has now all become major influences in my work.