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Jim Kelso

John Paul Miller: preeminent goldsmith

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John Paul Miller, one of America's preeminent goldsmiths passed recently at the age of 94.



He is generally credited with rediscovering the ancient Egyptian technique of granulation in the 50s, and certainly a seminal figure in the American art-jewelry field. Granulation is fusion bonding of gold achieved with the use of specific high-karat alloys and specialized reducing atmosphere aided by organic oxygen-eating agents.



John Paul used granulation to stunning effect, using the usual spheres but also geometric shapes fused as components of the design. His pieces, using granulation along with masterful enameling, were awe inspiring combinations of technique and imagination.



I had the pleasure to meet both John Paul and his friend Fred Miller(no relation) some years ago when Jean curated a show including his work. They came to visit and we had quite a fine afternoon together. I remember him being very soft-spoken and modest in light of his accomplishments.



If you do a google image search you will find an extraordinary body of work.



John Paul Miller.jpg


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Edited by Jim Kelso

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Thanks for posting this Jim. I had not heard of Miller before. His work is very very beautiful. I found a short video about him - he seemed like a good person, deeply involved in his work and his teaching. I wish that I had known of him earlier.

J

 

JDWARE KNIVES

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Thank you Jim.
I was not aware of this man and his work. I am sad to hear he has passed away but glad I can now start to learn about his art. I yearn for such beauty.

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There is no catalog of his work..no book...no record.

 

RIc

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Thanks guys. John Paul had pretty much made his career by the early 60s so seemingly had little need to be much involved with the heightened craft energy of the late 60s on, other than creating his work and teaching. It is a shame there is no monograph (that I know of) on his extensive body of work that, in my opinion, equals that of any historical goldsmith in technical mastery, design and especially imagination. It's clear that it was his work and teaching that mattered most to him, not notoriety. He is of course well-known within the jewelry community, but not so much beyond that.



John Paul shows up in numerous catalogues of group shows over the years. Also there is a detailed demo of granulation or fusion-bonding by John Paul in Oppi Untracht's book: Jewelry Concepts and Technology.



Here is a great page with an interesting bio, some other photos and a revealing video well worth watching.



http://clevelandartsprize.org/awardees/john_paul_miller.html

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Thanks for sharing that Jim. I became familiar with Johns work sometime last year. I will be forever blown away by his insects.

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