Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney DiMare.
Courtney, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I don’t really remember the moment I decided to pursue a career as a jeweler and artist. The first time I used a torch, I was a freshman in high school and ever since that project, it was obvious that it was what I was going to do. For college, I moved away from Chicagoland and ended up at the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine. It was probably the best decision I ever made; the entire experience really changed everything about me. It was a reality check in a lot of ways, even with all my experience in high school, I was not the best in the class as far as technical skills. The jewelry program challenged me, but I never thought about majoring in anything else. I had so many great opportunities like winning a workshop with Kate Wolf, interning for a local goldsmith Stephani Briggs, and taking a workshop with UNT’s Emeritus Professor Harlan Butt. Getting to know Harlan is the main reason why I’m attending UNT seven years later.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Is anything ever easy? I battled a pretty complicated health issue for ten years that affected my joints. My fingers, wrists, and knees were so swollen all the time, and I had to change my process in order to be able to make anything. I have many theories of what was wrong with me, and there is no quick answer to how I fixed it. In 2009, my Rheumatologist was reluctant to diagnose me with rheumatoid arthritis because my test never came back positive. My symptoms fluctuated over the years, but it got much worse after I graduated from college in 2013. My doctor recommended harsh medication, and that was the last straw. I started to see a naturopath and we found Lyme disease. So, after trying many diets, supplements, and occupational therapy, I finally have my wrists back and can get my career back on track. Overcoming this illness is honestly what I am most proud of myself for.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I make everything from big silver chains to creative engagement rings. Usually, pieces like that are commissions. In my artistic practice, I’m an enamelist, which means I fuse powder glass to copper in a kiln at 1500 degrees. I am still trying to figure out how to profit from my skills. I started a little company with my husband called Copper Bouquet, where we create enameled flowers for weddings. It is hard to focus on both that endeavor and my art jewelry practice. I am constantly coming up with new ideas and experiments to try, and it is probably equally my best and most challenging feature. If only time wasn’t an issue!
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I feel that luck and fate exist on the same plane and that my gut has been very in tuned to it. Reflecting on all my crucial moments and big decisions, I listened to my gut, and I’ve gotten lucky. Of course, there has been bad luck and challenges but at the end of the day, I really believe I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
- Website: CourtneyDiMare.com; copperbouquet.com
- Email: CourtneyDiMare@gmail.com
- Instagram: @sparkleycourtney
Portrait – Kyle DiMare
Artwork – Chris Wright Evans
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