Gem carving is not for the faint of heart.
Quality gem carving requires digging deep into your own spirit to fully trust.
Trust yourself as the carver.
Trust the gem to show you its’ true heart.
Trust the guidance you receive that will aid in creating the gem that is best for your client.
Committing myself to gem carving was both a career choice and a spiritual path.
As a career choice it meant being willing to live and work on the periphery of a very large industry.
As a spiritual path, it meant committing to bring my own personal growth with me to the bench each time I sat down to carve.
In my first decade of carving gems I had to learn the mechanics of how to bring tool to gem to create the swooping lines and deep sculpted dimension that makes my heart sing. This involved a lot of trial and error and crying on the porch when my attempts failed. I am so very happy to tell you that I rarely cry on the porch any more!
I also had to learn to “read” gem rough in the first decade. I had to learn to identify the gems that would come alive through gem carving and those that would not.
In my second decade of gem carving I had to learn to listen deeply to the gems themselves. This involves opening my mind, body and heart to the gem’s subtle messages.
Sometimes while carving I will feel my body leaning in one direction and I will become aware that the gem wants this line, or this sweeping plane to go in the direction I am leaning.
Sometimes I will be carving and images will appear in my mind – sand dunes, or waves, or bursting light. Then I know this is what the gem wants.
Each individual gem communicates in its’ own voice and my job is to be available to hear that message and then carefully create what the gem is asking for.
Well into my third decade of carving I am feeling the desire to carve gems that have meaning for specific individuals. This means that I will now open my mind and heart to the aesthetic, emotional and psychic meaning that my client wants their gem to provide for them.
As I move forward with this desire, the creative communication will transform once again to include my offering, the gem’s offering and my client’s offering. I can feel in my bones that this collaborative creation will yield my life’s best work yet.
How incredibly exciting.
I will have much, much more to say on this topic in subsequent posts.
It is my great privilege to share this journey with you. This is a privilege I do not take lightly. Thank you for your presence.
As always, I invite you to reach out to me. It is my great pleasure to guide you on your own journey of discovery to find a signature gem that expresses the spirit and beauty of you. Click here to reach my studio.
From my heart to yours,
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Welcome to my Gemstone Goddess journey!
My desire for you is that my experience inspires and supports you in your own gem journey.
MEET SHERRIS COTTIER SHANK,
Sherris Cottier Shank, Artist, Founder and CEO of Gemscapes, breaks tradition by intuitively listening to the energy of the stones which tell her when and where to cut. With more than 30 years in the gem carvers industry, Sherris has built an international portfolio that has received awards and acclaim from museums and competitions in both North America and Europe. She is proud and delighted to have a sculpture in the National Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
“Sherris takes such care when she carves each gemstone that they “speak” to you. There will never be another jewelry item that looks the same as the jewelry we create around her gems. Her work shows the passion she has and people feel that each time they wear their creation.”
Tom and Noreen,
J Thomas Jewelers