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Author: Virgo's Alchemy

One of a Kind Figurative Art Doll Artist and Artisan Soap Maker for the Strange and Unusual
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Virgo's Alchemy Etsy Now Open!

Hello!  I'd like to invite you to my Etsy Shop, it's now open!  I'm slowly getting things listed... first up are a few soaps, and my latest Mermaid Art Doll.

  Please stop by, "Favorite" me if you like what you see and want to keep seeing all the cool stuff I have in store for you in the coming days, weeks, months, and YEARS ahead!

Thanks so much for you support!! 

Click HERE to visit me on Etsy!

 

Handmade Soaps and One of a Kind Art Available!

 
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Specimen Syreni - Now Available on Etsy!

I'd like to introduce you to Specimen Syreni (Mermaid Specimen). She is approx the equivalent of a 9.5" sculpture, but inside her tomb-like bottle, she is an impressive 16" in height.

She was sculpted purely by imagination and by hand, no molds were used in her making, and no casts have been taken of her. She is, and always will remain, One of a Kind.

Specimen Syreni's story is based on the ancient Renaissance, a time when creatures like this may still have existed, discovered, and taken for study.

Her skin was painted in purple and blue hues to simulate a preserved appearance. She is also covered in a high quality, non-yellowing, "liquid water" resin.

At her feet, a small glass orb represents the magic that was captured within this elusive being. She stands in a bed of black sand with tiny iridescent sparkles throughout, and a tiny tag that reads "Specimen Syreni" is tied to the top of her bottle, for proper identification purposes...of course!

She is not removable from her bottle, but her lid is removable for cleaning purposes only. Her glass bottle makes her fragile and highly collectible; not to be used as a toy or given to small children.

Her hair is a lovely rich burgundy Tibetan Mohair, and she was painted with high quality heat setting paints, and fired multiple times at specific times and temperatures to ensure longevity and quality, as all professional sculptures should be.

She will come with a certificate of authenticity which will be attached to the bottom of her bottle, signed.

Available Now on Etsy!

Click HERE for her listing! Thank you so much for your interest, and please contact me by using my "Send a Raven" page, if you have any questions.

Additional Images of Specimen Syreni

 
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Closer and Closer to goals...

Well, we have been officially here in Colorado for one year, but only true residents since last November...and I must say, we have never been happier. Being partially raised in Arkansas and having such a huge love for wildlife, open space, natural environments - Colorado was truly the best choice we could have ever made. A part of me will always continue to long for Washington State, but, Colorado has already proven itself to be a major contender in my search for "home".

Yes, I'm still a major introvert... I just had to push myself to try to connect with some local community. I'm not an introvert by nature, there is a part of me screaming out for friendships, girl's nights out..etc lol However, my artwork takes up the majority of my time and when I'm not working in the studio, I feel as if I'm wasting the time I've been given.

I'm slow...slower than I would like to be. What takes some people a week or two to accomplish, takes me a month sometimes. With me, it's because I'm never fully satisfied, I keep tweaking and tweaking my projects until I either start over again from the ground up or find myself removing heads off dolls to redo them lol. Yes, probably another Virgo thing...the quest for perfection when I'm lying to myself most of the time...is there really such a thing when it comes to art? Perhaps I just need to change my own perspective of what "perfect" is, and just find peace in knowing that my work is perfectly imperfect, just like me.

Well, I started a couple new projects and I almost have enough to where I can start listing online, or even better, place in local galleries. I love the online community, but I want to engage my local community because I feel that is most important at this time in my life. I want to love people, and I want them to love me. Can you see now why I said my blog was like my therapist...? I can really work some serious shit out here, lol.

Anyway, one of the major reasons I haven't listed anything for sale or applied to any local galleries yet is because I've been having issues with photographing my work lol. I ordered a really nice lightbox kit off of Amazon last week and it's due to be here today!! This will help me get professional quality photos of my sculptures as well as my soaps

In this pic, I just started applying eyelashes. She still needs eyebrows...and well, of course, some hair lol...it's a process 😉

 

I'm no longer doing full-on WIP (Work in Progress) posts anymore, but I will tell you I'm working on a line of Fairy and Elves at the moment (as pictured above). I've been experimenting with different faces and "looks" for a couple weeks. I'm also loving having so many dead aspen trees lying around my property...they make EXCELLENT fantasy display bases! So, I have a lot in the works and just wanted you to know where I'm at as far as progress is concerned and what you can expect from me in the coming weeks and months.

Thank you again for taking the time to read through my rambling posts...I do appreciate it greatly. The support I get from the online community is truly a creative fuel for me. It's hard to create anything without believing in yourself, and that is why I'm so truly grateful to those who have shown me such support and love - you guys mean the world to me!

Yours Unusually,

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https://www.facebook.com/100014156919773/videos/244242382724324/
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NEVERknead Review

Hello, awhile back, a friend of mine suggested this lovely contraption when she seen me make a post about struggling to condition my clay.  Despite the pasta machines, food processors, and good-ole elbow grease, I felt the process was long, tedious, physically exhausting, and frustrating.  The NEVERknead has changed all of that for me, and I'm very happy to have made this investment to add to my studio equipment!  If you have issues with hand pain, or just low on patience...this is for you!

www.neverknead.com

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On a Mission: Cruelty-free Doll Hair

Moving out here to Colorado has been one of the best decisions of our lives, we couldn't be happier, and we also couldn't be in a more better situation to do certain things that we could not do while living in the city.  One of these "things" being, owning our own sheep!

I've been on a personal mission for quite a few years to find local suppliers, of cruelty-free Teeswater/Wensleydale locks for my art doll hair/wigging.  This is not an easy task, and you never truly know who you are buying from - especially if you cannot personally visit their farm, meet their animals, and see the conditions in which they are kept, how they are treated, and whether you wish to support their farm by purchasing their fibers.

Another perk of owning our own sheep - I can dye the fiber any colors I choose, and enjoying having the relationship with the animals so that it is a truly equal exchange of energy between us.

Teeswater and Wensleydale fiber makes some of the most fabulous doll hair.  It can be dyed, straightened, kept curled, cut, ironed...you can do just about anything with it.  Problem is, most suppliers of these luscious locks are overseas, and I like to work with local folks as much as I can for numerous reasons.

Taking on having our own sheep will allow us to control the environment and quality of life our sheep will have, as well as allowing us to provide ourselves, and others, with high quality fiber that can be used for everything from doll wigging to wool roving.

I have thought about starting a gofundme campaign to help with the costs associated with setting up a shelter and placing up proper fencing.  We do live in Colorado, there are predators here that would love a nice sheep buffet - but not on my watch!  Extra precautions will have to be taken to keep them safe, which can be done relatively inexpensively, but still needs to be done right.

There is a lot of responsibility that comes with taking care of animals of any kind, sheep will be no different, but we are up for the challenge, and are greatly looking forward to meeting with a local farm who I've already been in touch with, and who wants to work with us.

I honestly cannot wait until we can begin this venture!  Virgo's Alchemy will offer cruelty-free fiber for Art Doll Hair in the near future, be looking for it in our announcements (you can always sign up for our newsletter) we do plan to offer it on Etsy, as well as right here - on the Virgo's Alchemy website.

     

Thank you for your interest, please stay tuned to this exciting project of ours.  We plan to document the entire experience, as well as personally introduce our resident sheep to all of you once we bring them home!

 

Yours Unusually,

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Specimen Syreni (Mermaid Specimen) Resin Project

I have always admired the resin art that is being done with Art Doll Mermaids.  Adding resin to a Mermaid sculpture brings it to another whole new level.  Many years ago, before I even started to work with polymer clay, I ran across an amazing artist who was making mermaids in a bottle.  They were simply the most intriguing pieces I'd ever seen.

Now, years later, and still haunted by that artist and her work, I'm working on creating my own version of this fantastical mythical project.

The only resin I've used up to this point, has been in very small amounts for making my handmade doll eyes.  I have used everything from UV curing gels, to 2 part epoxies, but never anything at this scale.

"Courage my friend", that is what I keep telling myself.  As you know, sculpting an art doll can take well over a a month for me.  Then to submerge this entire piece into a sea of unforgiving resin...well, that is going to be quite the challenge.

I decided, last month, that I was no longer going to post WIP's (Work in Progress) because I felt it took away from the actual magic and allure of my work.  However, I do still plan on doing posts on specific projects in which I feel others can benefit from seeing, and after-all, I do use my blog as a journal.  It is nice to reflect back on projects, to measure progress, and to also document results.

This project will entail a large glass bottle/jar.  Currently, I'm trying it out with a rather tall glass vase I purchased from the local hobby store.  I'll be honest - I don't really like it.  I've been searching for 10-12" tall pasta jars, or something with a little more character than just a cylindrical glass vase.  The search continues, while I sculpt the mermaid, or "Specimen Syreni" which is Latin for Mermaid Specimen.

I'm building a base that will fit down inside the bottle and hold the mermaid sculpture in place.  Once she is perfectly inside, I will seal her in resin, and then cap off the top with a decorative finish.  The bottle itself will also have a base it will rest on, I'm just not sure what I will use yet.  I've already made several possible bases for it, but I'm still not happy.  I don't want anything that looks cheesy or gaudy - and sometimes, if you are not careful, it is easy to get carried away and over do it.

I'm going to be pulling inspiration from several places, one place will be the dark nautical appeal of Alice Madness Returns, and some Steampunk color schemes with a touch of gothic Burton-inspired flare.  I know, seems like a Hodge-podge, if only I could open and dump my brain out onto the floor for all to see - I would.

I'm also using quite a bit of 2 part epoxy sculpting putty, which I LOVE because of it strength and texture.  My next post will be an update, but this won't be a WIP where it's basically a tutorial - I don't have time for such things.  I will post what I can, when I can on this project, and of course, the final result.

Thanks for your interest...

Yours Unusually,

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Introducing: Snow Pixie - An Artisan Cupcake Soap Original by Virgo's Alchemy

We are back in business folks!  We have been slowly transitioning into our new home in the Rockies, and it has been a bit of a challenge getting used to the "less than average" internet services, colder and drier weather, altitude...etc.. but we are gradually getting used to the changes and are extremely happy with our new location!

That being said, we have officially started back up with making our artisan soaps, and of course I had to start off with making our WINGED cupcake soaps! It's been awhile since I've been able to make these, and I'm very excited to offer this first batch to a very talented group of artists who are going to absolutely fall head over heels in love with these little babies!

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Magic of Innocence - IADR WINNER!

My latest sculpture, Magic of Innocence is finally completed and I'm very proud to say was a WINNER in the 2016 IADR Art From the Soul Contest!  These are just "completion" photos, I will eventually have specific pages for each one of my sculptures with more professional quality photos soon.

 

I'm now beginning my next project, inspired by the movie "The Secret of Kells".

I will not be doing a WIP blog on this new project, but I will continue to update my blog on a regular basis.

I will also be doing a review video of the Never Knead. This device is a true God-send, suggested to me by my friend Nicole West, a fabulous fantasy art doll artist who I have grown to respect dearly over the years.

Please remember to bookmark Virgo's Alchemy and check in with me on my Instagram and Facebook page for other news, updates, and simple ramblings.

Much love to all of those showing me support and interest in my work!

-Yours Unusually,

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To WIP or not to WIP, that is the question! And the answer is....

I've been giving it a lot of thought lately and I feel that when I post WIP's or "Work in Progress" pictures of my work, it diminishes the magic that goes into that piece. I always liked to offer Work in Progress (WIP)'s because they allow others to see that I do not use molds, that I construct extremely durable work by using advanced armature techniques and high quality supplies, and to basically show where I'm at as far as progress during my work.  Not to mention, it's inspiring to hear others cheer you on with excitement as they watch your creative process. While all of these reasons are good to post progress updates, there is also something good about just unveiling the final work. So, with all that being said, I'm no longer going to be posting WIPs. I may offer a quick sneak peak of something once in awhile, but as a general rule of thumb, I'm just not going to do full WIP posts any longer. They are also very time consuming and it takes away from my sculpting/working time. Read more
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Work in Progress (WIP) Labyrinth Inspired Piece

Enchanted Tree Work in Progress by Kendra M Gilbert of Virgo's Alchemy Art

Enchanted Tree Work in Progress by Kendra M Gilbert of Virgo's Alchemy Art

Well, after I completed Alice I decided that I'd do a piece for the International Art Doll Registry's upcoming Art from the Soul Contest. This was a difficult concept for me because it really made me reach deep inside of myself. One of the biggest inspirations from my childhood was the movie Labyrinth. Yes, the movie that boasts David Bowie in tights and a young girl walking across a smelly bog that made fart sounds when she stepped on the stone walkway... This story was extremely symbolic in a lot of ways. Some people seen it as a message to young people to be warned of the dangers that lurk when adolescence turns to adulthood. Some people say it was even a movie with more a sinister meaning, and the term "Illuminati" has come up several times in different forums regarding this film. To me, it symbolized the power of innocence, growth, courage, and coming of age. It also reminds me that just because we get older, it does not mean we have to let go of our imagination, our desires, and dreams.

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