Courtney Lipson

Courtney Lipson

Courtney Denise Lipson has explored creative outlets from pottery to sculpture, painting, and weaving. She graduated from Lewis and Clark College in 1997 with a Bachelor’s in Arts Administration.

Courtney discovered jewelry making in 2002, while Assistant Director at Stonington Gallery in Seattle. After taking a basic metalsmithing course at Pratt Fine Arts, Courtney developed her style of micro-mosaic jewelry using beads and grout.  The hobby turned full-time in 2004 with her first exhibition at Stonington Gallery. She was a Saul Bell Design Award Finalist in 2007, the same year she began studying weaving with Tlingit Chilkat weaver, Chloe Sk.wein French.

Courtney is a self-employed artist, dividing her time between jewelry making and weaving. She is married to Scott Jensen, a well-known Northwest Coast sculptor who is also a full-time artist. In 2010 Courtney and Scott had a dual ceremony of their wedding and their naming and adoption by their Tlingit brother and sister, Fred Sał kaa and Ivy Gunalshowaxeex Fulmer.  Scott was adopted into the Chookaneidí Eagle, Brown Bear and Porpoise Clan and Courtney into the T’akdeintaan Raven, Frog and Black Legged Kittiwake clan. Her Tlingit name is Tlaxaneis.

“What drives my inspiration? As a child I spent my summers on a beach in California, often sifting through sandbars at low tide, finding minute seashells and sand dollars perfectly intact, but only a millimeter or so across.  Was that the beginning?  To find beauty and fascination in all things—even the ones we usually walk past is what fuels me.  I’m drawn to texture, color, and pattern, gathering inspiration from intricate details and overall themes.  In my designs I am bringing what I see into focus for you to discover.

While creating the framework for my pieces—the metalworking—I think of its function.  How will it wear?  How comfortable will it be?  How will it conform to the wearer’s body?  And where will I embellish it with stones or beads?  The process of inlaying comes easily, as if the shape of the metal itself directs the colors and patterns of the beads.  The final step in creating my pieces is the grout work.  I apply the grout as a painter would apply paint, accentuating the patterns, creating contrast where needed.  I’m pleased to find the painter in me still exists, and feel fortunate to have found a form of expression that continuously delights and challenges me.”