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.
–Courtney Lipson (Non-Indigenous, Adopted Tlingit)
Exhibition Dates:November 6, 2008 - November 29, 2008