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Healing the Pains of Loss through Art...

My Sister, My Angel, My Light

My Sister, My Angel, My Light

For you Sis, I Love You, Always





For those who know me personally, and are close to me on social media, know that I just lost two very special women in my life. My one and only Sister due to metastatic breast cancer, and my Grandmother, who although was already struggling with declining health, I feel passed when she no longer felt my Sister's presence here on this earthly plane - they were very close. Feeling the magnitude of these losses so closely together made the entire world feel as if it had started to crumble beneath my feet. I'm still processing these losses, and thankfully I have a very good support system with a loving husband, beautiful children, and other family and friends who have been there for me. As an introvert, processing this type of pain is even more difficult for me. I have had to really fight not wanting to simply withdrawal myself and literally disappear. It's a pain that runs deep, and anyone who has experienced the loss of loved ones knows exactly what I mean. The roller coaster of emotions; going from happy memories, to regret, then delving into deep sadness, and even anger. It's been a very challenging few weeks, and I will always consider the year 2018 as the year I lost a major part of my heart and soul.

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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...

(Pause site music by clicking the || in the upper right hand corner before playing video)


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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High Quality, Handmade Art Doll Eyes

One of a Kind Handmade Eyes in small scale, 3mm and 4mm, for figurative art doll sculptures! Now available on Etsy, these tiny works of art have been tested to withstand temperatures exceeding 300 degrees, with little, if any at all, loss of clarity.

Non yellowing, scratch resistant, high quality, handmade "glass" eyes which have been constructed from glass, polymer clay, and resin.

Unique, realistic, uncanny close-as-possible perfection in such a small scale!

Now offering different sizes as well as many different colors, as well as custom requests! All on Virgo's Alchemy Etsy Shop.

Get yours

HERE

today!

     
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Absinthe, now curing!

Will be made available shortly, after it is fully cured! Thanks! To hear sound, simply click the sound on in the video!
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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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