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WIPS (Works In Progress)

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The Secret of Kells inspired Aisling Pangur Ban

I have been working steadily for months on several different projects, and although I have previously officially decided NOT to post WIP's (work in progress) photos, I figured I would post a few of one of my current projects - just so you all know I'm still working at my craft!

This will be Aisling and Pangur Ban, my own vision of them, inspired by The Secret of Kells...

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Aisling inspired by The Secret of Kells Work in Progress... Aisling will be approx 10 inches tall and be standing next to Pangur Ban on this One of a Kind base which I have sculpted out of 2 part epoxy over wire armature, and painted with a wash of select colors such as raw umber and yellow ocher. The colors and patterns are all inspired by this fantastical Irish folklore theme, giving it an enchanting forest appearance.

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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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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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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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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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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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