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I knew I was an artist the first time I touched a crayon.  What I didn't know was how many ways there are to express that. 

As a teen I painted and drew...  After I married and had 3 children, it was expressed in sewing, quilting, textiles, and cooking.  I even got some of these sample carpet books one time, and made a "quilted" rug out of that. I think I might still have a picture...will have to find that!

Each craft satisfied the need for design, color, texture, shape, and form.  I have always loved working with my hands.  Some people hate it, but I find it soothing, relaxing, and very Zen :). 

My one lament at that time was that I had no formal training.  I felt that I was missing something.  Perhaps I could achieve my live long dream of being a "Real Artist" if I had that "special training". (good lord, yes, I was that naive)

So, after a divorce at 38, and striking out on my own (ok, well falling on my face, realizing I had no career or way to earn money) I decided to use the settlement money from my divorce to pay my way to Art College. 

After 4 years of learning to study again, along with 18 year olds who could run circles around me, reaching, stretching, pushing the limits, I finally  graduated with Honors and a BFA in Painting and Sculpture.  Imagine my surprise in finding there were no Palaces that needed court Painters or Sculptors!!  Not even a villa....  OH MY, a snag in my plan!

When I first entered Art Collage at the ripe old age of 38, everyone in my family thought I was nuts for going to Art school.  Why didn't I go to a college of finance, banking, accounting, computers, or restaurant management???? 

How was I going to make a living at oil painting?  At Sculpture?  How could I be so idealistic?  What right did I have to think I could stay in a studio playing all day, and get money for it?  How could I be so unrealistic?

I stuck to my guns...until I graduated.  I just couldn't believe there was no market for this cool stuff!!!  After graduation, to my ultimate shame, I believed them. I thought to myself "How could I have come this far, and be so stupid?  What could I have been thinking?"  How am I going to support myself?     I panicked! 

I ran and got the first job I could find that I could tell myself had anything to do with art.   I became the Art Director (read that "Glorified Type Setter" in a tiny print shop in Philadelphia.  That made me a "jack of all trades", since they had no computer guru on site, I had to figure out most hardware and software myself. 

That led to the next job...a temp to perm job that led to becoming a Microsoft Software Teacher for a large company, and after that, since I had had to figure out all that hardware and software along the way, I ended up as a Telecommunications Technician for an even larger Corporation. (How on earth I ended up there from being an oil painter and Sculptress, I still don't quite understand)...  But I am not good at rules, boundaries, authority figures, deadlines, or schedules. (go figure, lol)   I got fired.

After I lost that job, I actually felt relieved.  I thought, ok, now I understand that song in a new way.  "Having nothing left means you have nothing left to lose"  I was miserable, and broke.  I thought, ok, the bad news is you have to start all over.  The good news, is also that you get to start over again. 

And THIS TIME I'm not going to listen to anyone but my HEART. 

This time, I swore I would not make the same mistake.  I would do what ever it took to pay my bills, I didn't care if I had to flip burgers, but my ultimate goal would be a career that was artistic and creative. 

At that time, I was home, looking for work, and beginning to sculpt again. In school I had sculpted in plaster, marble, rock and wood, but not metal.  So I thought, why not?  I found that I liked metal.  A lot. Its a chameleon.   I love its unique ability to be so hard, and present itself as something so smooth and delicate. 

I love that I can mold it, twist it, bend it, shape it anyway I want. (Hey, that's a song, too!)   I could color it.  I cold make rigid forms.  I could hang things from it.

I started making metal wire into jewelry about 9 years ago.  Jewelry, with its textures, colors, forms, shapes and sizes, with the ability to be monochromatic, repetitive, patterned, etc, contains all of the elements of design, and all the possibilities of a fine painters palette, but in physical form.

I have paid my dues.  Eaten my share of Oodles of Noodles in college, and quite a bit after graduation, too.  I purchased my  wardrobe at Good Will while in school, and for quite a while after that.  I gave up my love of fashion and exchanged it for my love of learning for a long time.

But now I am back, with humility and much gratitude for being able to be here, in this place, finally doing what I love.  I can not imagine a more wonderful life.

To get to sit in my Studio, and create objects of beauty and meaning, and have some of you out there appreciate what comes out of that space.  Its all rather thrilling, actually. 

There is no greater pleasure than seeing someone wear and enjoy one of my jewelry creations.  Its my great pleasure, and the fulfillment of a life long dream, to  be given the opportunity to share the pleasure of creation with you. 

Most of my jewelry has been made with, and combined with gemstones for their ancient metaphysical or spiritual meanings, so that the beauty of each piece goes beyond its surface and physical properties, and speaks to your heart.

I hope you will think about  the meanings of the stones as you make your choices. Much thought, prayer, and love has been swirled and coiled over these surfaces.

If you want any help in deciding what is right for you, or which stone to use for what purpose, try my Healing Chart

If you can't find it there, email me and I will find one for you that will symbolize your wishes, hopes, dreams, and desires of the heart. 

After all, I am living proof that if you can dare to hold on to your dreams, and keep them in your mind and your sight, they may very well find their way back into your life.  Never let go of your dream.  don't ever let anyone take them from you.  They are at the very core of your heart, and you will look back on you life and always wonder..could I have done it???  If I had not been afraid to try??

I could have borne it if I had tried and failed, but I felt like I was slowly drowning when I wasn't at least heading in the direction that my soul wanted to go.

Blessings, and thank you for visiting my site.

Shirley Gordon

Inspired by Air
Forged by Fire
Tempered by Water
Grounded by Earth
Guided by Spirit...



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Damali™ by GemStoneGifts Handmade Gemstone Jewelry
Damali means "Beautiful Vision"

Healing Directory 

Directory of 400 Ancient Crystal Healing Remedies,
using the healing power of gemstones to promote recovery from addictions, heal the spirit,
promote good health, abundance, prosperity, and career success.

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Meanings of Gemstones:

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 Site last updated:  01/14/2014