John Paul has been designing & creating handmade fine jewelry in downtown Bend, Oregon for over twenty-five years. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing from the University of Wisconsin Stout he spent several years apprenticing with master metalsmiths, jewelers, diamond setters and lapidarists in Madison, Wisconsin and Vail, Colorado. It wasn't long before the mountains called and he eventually found his way to Bend. Once in Bend, JP set up shop in his garage, which eventually led to renting a small space in the basement of the Old Penny's Galleria, formerly the JC Penny 's building. After a short stint down under, as it was so affectionately referred to, JPD rented a bona fide street level storefront studio and gallery. At its height, the gallery represented over a dozen jewelry artists, sculptors and glassblowers. Around this time....the turning of the century, JP befriended a neighboring blacksmith. Sometime during this time, seeing iron forged hot, changed the trajectory of the way in which he created jewelry. The technical foundation rooted in fine jewelry traditions combined with the forging of iron, created the space for something unknown to unfold. It is under this unfolding that he
continues to be inspired by the unkonwn and is relentless in his pursuit of joyous discovery.
As John Paul was growing up in an auctioneer's family in the midwest, he learned a deep respect for objects that had been well-designed and created to last for generations. That appreciation informs his work as an artisan jeweler today. Whether he is melting down old pieces that are no longer being worn before forging the recycled materials into something wearable for a new generation, or setting an heirloom diamond into a fresh engagement ring, his intention is to create pieces that speak to the soul of the wearer.
Much of his work involves custom commissions. He is known to spend considerable time with a client, listening to their stories and allowing the true heart of their life experiences to seep into the design. It is a great honor to be trusted with creating modern talismans, and he finds meaning in forging pieces that will be worn and loved every day - substantial pieces that will eventually bear the record of a lifetime.
John Paul has been creating one-of-a-kind, handmade jewelry for over twenty years in downtown Bend, Oregon. In a mountain town populated with active people who love the outdoors, he has become known for designing pieces with substance that stand up to the wildest adventures.
Each piece in this gallery started as a sketch on a page after a collaborative brainstorming with the client over design goals and materials before being brought to life with old world skill. So while every single one is unique, they all have one man's heart and mind and hands in common.
Whether it’s revamping a dated piece or creating something entirely new with your style in mind, we love collaborating with our clients to create original and personalized pieces. Contact us by phone at 541-318-5645 or here with questions or to set up an appointment. It begins with an initial consultation with John Paul. You have the option to meet in-person at our downtown Bend, Oregon studio, or set up an appointment to consult over the phone, which is something we often do for our out-of-town clients. Once the first meeting has concluded and a design plan has been created, we will provide a quote for the project before moving forward.
John Paul's work carries the weight of a long history of craftsmanship and has a presence that is best experienced in person. Next time you find yourself in beautiful downtown Bend, Oregon, swing by for a tour of our current collection. There's magic in holding the pieces, turning them over and over in your hand, enjoying the feel of the forged textures of the earth: stone & lava, sand & leather. We'd love to meet you and hear your story.