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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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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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Latest Sculpture: American Mcgee's Alice Madness Returns Alice Liddell Art Doll

Hope you like her, here she is fully completed...One of a Kind, hand sculpted, without the use of molds... I introduce to you, Alice.  I will be making a page just for her, but for now...

Alice Madness Returns, Alice Liddell by Kendra M Gilbert
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WIP Update Alice Madness Returns Art Doll

Virgo's Alchemy WIP: Alice Liddell

Almost completed, and several other projects in the pipeline! Here is the latest on Alice and her progress! I just recently decided to add a doll at her feet, so sculpting is still taking place on that. It's a miracle that I've been able to pick up where I left off so many months ago...it's not easy to put anything on hold that long, but I feel very good about it. Alice's face sorta reminds me of Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones, and no, that was not intentional lol.

I really hope you like her, she will be the first project I've completed in quite awhile, and only the beginning of many more to come!

Thank you for your interest and support! Hopefully I will have the Etsy Shoppe open soon so I can start offering some of our Strange and Unusual Creations for sale once more!

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Unboxing and Review of the SH Figuarts Poseable Figure!

SHFigurereviewFinding a good reliable reference for poses can be difficult. Wooden mannequins are great for general visual aid, but if you want something that will allow you to really create life-like visual references for poses, then look no further than SH Figuarts Poseable Figures! High Quality and highly articulated, this tiny little gem works wonders! Check out my video of the unboxing and complete review of this invaluable sculpting reference tool!
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Slowly moving, but still coming along! WIP: Alice Madness Returns Art Doll

alice_wip_progress

Well, we are officially moving on Friday, so I'm not sure if I will have Alice completed by then or not.  I'm really looking forward to having a much nicer working studio and the mountain view for inspiration 🙂  Here is a shot of her progress thus far!  Still needs a LOT more painting, sculpting of arms and hands, wigging etc...they always look so strange at this stage heheh...  She is sculpted from a blend of FIMO Professional and Prosculpt clays over wire armature that is reinforced with a rod system to support the weight of her massive evil slayin hobby horse.  The base is hand-painted wood and 2 part epoxy over heavy duty wire armature.

Our move to Colorado has greatly slowed the progress of this project, but it is a sacrifice well worth the making.

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Progress on Alice!

Alice Madness Returns inspired WIPIt's been all too long since my last update, last post - last anything! Here is a little sneaky peaky of one of the elements I'm adding to my American McGee Alice Madness Returns art doll project! If you are familiar American McGee, then surely this little piggy will make you squeal...or rather *snort snort* Read more
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Alice Madness Returns (WIP)

Ok, so everyone who knows me personally knows that I have a rather strange obsession with any and all things "Alice". You will see a lot of my work is inspired by this childhood literary icon, but not all Wonderland's are created...equal. There is a darker side to Alice, which I find to be mindbogglingly intriguing. I fell in love with American McGee's Alice, which is a video game adaption of a darker story of Alice - although there is a light at the end of the rabbit hole...

This is my current WIP for Alice, dressed in her Royal Suit standing firmly against the forces of Wonderland with Hobby Horse (weapon) in hand. Handcrafted out of plain wood, wire, paint, clay and a few other items I found laying around...this piece is slowly but surely coming together...

Handcrafted Dark Hobby Horse by Kendra Gilbert

I will update this post shortly with progress. I like this shot below, you can see some American McGee Alice conception art peering in from behind the base with her big green glowing eyes...one of my most favorite inspirational images for her likeness...

Handcrafted American McGee Alice Inspired Art Doll Base by Kendra Gilbert
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