About the artist, Jane A Gordon (JAG)
Jane A. Gordon is a jewelry designer, speaker, teacher, artist, and visionary, whose artful and unpredictable designs are the creative product of remarkable journeys (real world, emotional and spiritual) leading to a philosophy of life that together, we can make a quantum leap to a better world by igniting joy, success, leadership, and oneness, one person at a time.
Gordon’s careers, adventures and singular vision began in Main Line Philadelphia, where she was an odd kid who preferred books over play. Growing up in a home and schools without rules, she was trained from a young age to question everything, (taking it to extremes at 14years old, boarding a plane and running away briefly to Puerto Rico). An acting audition landed her at Stella Adler in New York University, where she also studied comparative religion and experimental psychology. Curiosity about the world, a decision to be a leaf in the wind, embracing an adventurous personality, and life’s vicissitudes brought her to live in NY, London, Geneva, Rome, Spain, and Palm Beach, while also working and traveling extensively throughout the world, touring with rock and roll groups (Earth Wind & Fire, The Rolling Stones), as a consultant, promotions, commercial real estate, as an artist, mentor, and more. Gordon has explored the world for work and play, by land and sea on boats ranging from cruise ships to tiny racing sloops. At the time of writing this, Gordon has visited and revisited 89 countries, and countless cities and towns.
The leap into becoming at artist started after almost 15 years in the corporate world. Restless, Gordon left her career in commercial real estate to learn about the internet at LuxuryFinders.com, the web’s first luxury goods site. A year later the Dot Com Bust caused the company to go bust in November 2000. Gordon became an accidental designer, creating high end corporate gifts for her colleagues and friends in the business world. January 2001 (a long time until Christmas) Gordon thought to bring jewelry to offices, saving men from dreaded Valentine’s Day shopping. Her plan was to borrow jewelry, but when a friend loaned her hundreds of strands of gemstone beads, Gordon fell in love with the light and energy of the stones and just never stopped creating. She toured the USA giving trunk shows at Saks Fifth Ave and high-end boutiques, and worldwide trunk shows on cruise ships. Ironically, it would be more than another ten years before Gordon even realized she is, and identified herself as, an artist.
Gordon’s collections consist of two separate spheres: “The Outies” are designs inspired by the physical beauty of the world, and/or the materials themselves. “The Innies” are inner inspiration: the conceptual aspect and soul of her work: sculptural metaphors of paths to happiness and unity.
The cast pieces are created in the Lost Wax technique. After Gordon develops an idea, the model maker carves it in wax, makes molds and models, and the pieces are cast, creating purposeful, sculptural designs incorporating culture and metaphor into inspirational symbolism, and wearable poetry.
Gordon gives seminars of her life philosophies, using the representative designs to illustrate each idea. The lighthearted presentation and stories touch audiences, who are often unexpectedly moved to laughter, tears, and hugs. Gordon turned the ever-evolving seminar into a self-published book (available on Amazon in paperback). At the time of writing this, Gordon is working with a publisher on three versions: a high-end photo art book, and two with actual jewelry illustrating the happiness choices in sterling silver and diamonds, or gold and diamonds.
Inspired by artists in Third World countries, Gordon will work with anything from precious metals and gems to alternative materials such as shark vertebrae, often mixing them together. She also hosts workshops de-mystifying pearls, (history, types, value, etc.) and teaching her easy pearl knotting and jewelry making techniques. Anyone can make their first piece on the first day. As Gordon incorporates messages of self-acceptance, which builds courage and self-esteem, she guides students to find their inner designer.
Gordon is currently working on a new jewelry collection and book combination called “Yay Eve” with pieces featuring snakes, apples, and leaves, stemming (no pun intended) from the story of Adam and Eve. Gordon points out that Eve is usually portrayed as the “bad guy” of the story, and sees the story differently. Gordon praises Eve for eating from the tree of knowledge and encourages us all to always question authority, as well as our core assumptions and beliefs, whether societal, tribal, or personal.
Gordon is obsessed with communication and thinks it is crucial in life and art. One must learn how to both hear, and be heard, if we are going to learn, lift ourselves and others, and share paths to a better world. After struggling with depression, Gordon knows this first hand. Reexamination of the things that we think we already know is key to her process. Gordon believes that society has a predetermined hierarchy and we need to reexamine what we think is fact. Her passion, shared in jewelry, seminars, writing, art, and photos is a search to hear, to be heard, and to uplift. One must “simplify complicated ideas, wrap them in beauty, leave them on a (metaphorical) table to be picked up, explored, and cherished for layers of discovery.” The Tao inspires Gordon in the best way to share: “When the best leaders work is done, the people say, ‘We did this ourselves.’”
It never entered her mind that being a female artist set her apart. For almost 15 years before accidentally discovering herself as an artist, Gordon was in the completely male-dominated field of New York City commercial real estate. In this environment, being a woman in a group of 3,000 men who without even realizing it, wanted to sexualize, infantilize, marginalize, or demean her. Just as in judo where one will use the others force to easily flip the opponent, Gordon learned to hide her truest self, and use those prejudices as negotiating tools. Gordon never needed approval from others to break barriers, having had a role-model mother who was an architect, anthropologist, lawyer, and an incredibly talented artist. As an artist, Gordon has learned to give herself away to find herself. She seeks opportunity in challenges, and loves to link people together, supporting each-other’s visions and goals by sharing resources in mutually beneficial collaborations. Her advice to other women in the arts is to “Just do your best, don’t compare yourself to others, try new things fearlessly, and never ask if you are good enough. You are! Now create, and go out to find the people who love your work.”