Renée Courtney has been designing and making jewelry for over 40 years. She was born near Chicago and raised in Westchester, NY. Renée was a child actress, who, if your memory is far-reaching, you would recognize her as one of the jump-roping Campbell’s Soup kids. Little Renée had an eye for design even then, when she arrived at the set to shoot the commercial, the director took one look at her home-made tie-dye t-shirt and proclaimed it her costume! She began making jewelry at age 8, teaching herself to use an American Indian bead loom. At 16, unschooled in any other technique, she began making and selling beaded jewelry at home made with sewing needles and dental floss. Then, in a high school silver jewelery class, she first picked up a jewelers torch, and silver smithing came to her, like a past-life experience. She went on to study jewelry design at the prestigious California College of Arts and Crafts and then on full scholarship at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
As life would have it, the young artist needed to earn a living, and never one to do things half-heartedly, Renée opened a children’s talent management agency, which she ran very successfully for 15 years, before closing the agency in to pursue jewelry design. She honed her production skills working for several jewelry designers on Manhattan’s famous Fashion District on 7th Avenue, in addition to selling her own work, accepting commissions and repairs, became an expert in stringing pearls and other precious gems, and giving private lessons in her jewelry studio.
Renée’s lifelong love of Mexico first brought her to San Miguel de Allende in 1993 to study metal smithing at the Instituto Allende. She then apprenticed with world-renowned silversmith Reno Carrollo in Denver, Colorado, and after, returned to San Miguel to settle permanently.
With her innate feel for metal, glass, and stone, today Renée creates timeless, and elegant jewelry, which has been featured in galleries throughout Mexico and the U.S., including The Artisan's Center in Denver CO, Leona 226 in Puerto Vallarta, and in San Miguel de Allende, La Victoriana, Seventh Heaven, Casa Katalina, and The Lisa Simms Gallery.
Renee lives in San Miguel de Allende with her husband and daughter, the dazzling Chelsea, named for Renee’s favorite Manhattan neighborhood. Renée welcomes studio visits, and her work may be purchased or commissioned directly through her studio. To schedule a vist, call in Mexico (415) 185-8322 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
La Victoriana "Handmade Health, Beauty and Baby Products