Designer’s daughter turns her talents to jewelry display.
[dropcap cap=JOHN PAUL] has always had a unique take on the world around him. A bachelor’s degree in metalsmithing, two apprenticeships with designer jewelers, and a friendship with a grouchy blacksmith led to a design sensibility that combines blacksmithing techniques with precious metals. He sells his own designs out of a retail space constructed of lava rock and mortar.
So it’s no surprise that Paul approaches jewelry display from a diff erent angle as well. He grew up in an auctioneering family and developed a love for unappreciated found objects. “I like to use objects that have a shape or texture that’s reminiscent of the jewelry,” he says.
Today, he uses such objects to showcase his jewelry, giving each piece plenty of space.
“There was a gallery in Portland I used to go into that had amazing jewelry, but it was so overwhelming to look at, the jewelry became more of a commodity,” he says. “Each of my pieces feels like a work in its own right, and it needs space to breathe and exist on its own.” — STORY BY TRACE SHELTON[/dropcap]
[h3]Idea One [/h3]
SPRING “This is just a coil spring with a perfectly rusted patina.”
[h3]Idea Two [/h3]
GEAR “I’m into old steel objects and I’m nuts about circles. The repetitive pattern of the gear is nice. I’ve fl ipped it over where the gear’s the base and have
mounted the socket on top — any way to display the same objects in diff erent ways.”
SMART SHOW BADGES “An employee talked me into taking her to the Smart Show. So I put this display together for Amy. And I wanted customers to see that we’re furthering our education, expertise and passion for our industry.”
BOTTLE “It’s a vintage bottle 1 of blue tincture that was in the basement of the apothecary where I got my showcases. It’s a beautiful bottle and label, and it’s 120 years old.”
WOOD “This piece of wood 2 has a lot of limbs I can drape necklaces on.”
COFFEE BEANS “These are unroasted, raw, organic coff ee beans 1 from my friend’s shop, which I used to cover the bottom of these vintage showcases that I bought from a 1950s apothecary store.”
STEEL DISCS 2 “I had these cut at a steel fab shop; they are 1/8-inch steel discs that are 15 inches in diameter. All my cases feature three discs on the lower shelf on the coff ee bean fi eld, so there’s continuity. Then there’s a particular composition within each case that’s more intimate.”
TAP HANDLE 3 “This was used for threading steel. It was a gift from a friend who is a machinist. I came to work one day and found it outside my door with a note: ‘I saw this and thought of you.’”
DRIFTWOOD: 4 “A friend found it on the Oregon coast. The pendant resting on top of it is made of granite from a nearby mountain I hiked.”
ELK VERTEBRA “This display is a single elk vertebra that’s been bleached. It has so many spots to catch stuff on. Rather than stand my
cuff s on a fl at surface, which isn’t very stable, this is the right height and shape, and now you can see the cuff s and how they might look on your wrist.”
[h4]“I like to use objects that have a shape or texture that’s reminiscent of the jewelry.” — JOHN PAUL[/h4]
[span class=note]This story is from the September-October 2010 edition of INDESIGN[/span]