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Author Topic:   John, Peter, Janet - The Prip Family of smiths
Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 07-04-2012 04:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
    John, Peter, Janet Prip - A Family of smiths

Does anyone have anything to share?

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 07-04-2012 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
2010 there was a family exhibition:

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dragonflywink

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iconnumber posted 07-04-2012 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have been a Jack Prip fan for a long time, a number of his designs are in my Modernist books - ran across a nice little 1987 exhibition catalog not too long ago, downloadable and printable, will see if I can find the original link - if not will send you the PDF. There's quite a bit to be found online - but the only other thing I have, is a few souvenir spoons from A. Prip, the family factory in Denmark.....

~Cheryl

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dragonflywink

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iconnumber posted 07-04-2012 05:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, that was easy - this is a link to a 55 page PDF from the American Craft Council Library Digital Collections (nice site to wander around):

John Prip, Master Metalsmith

~Cheryl

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dragonflywink

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iconnumber posted 07-04-2012 05:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Whoops, forgot that I also have 2010 article - will see if it's still available.....

~Cheryl

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 07-04-2012 05:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cheryl

That catalog is great... Thanks so much.

I never have seen any Prit silver first hand so I am not sure if they had markers marks? It would be great to see "... a few souvenir spoons from A. Prip, the family factory in Denmark..... ". smile

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dragonflywink

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iconnumber posted 07-04-2012 06:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Heh, will see what I can dig out of the spoons and take some pics. If I recall correctly, John Prip just used his signature as his mark, don't really know much about metalsmith son, Peter or sculptor daughter, Janet.

Emailed you on the 2010 article, but here's a short one with pics, from the Society of American Silversmiths: John A. Prip

And a nice eulogy from Jeff Herman, when Prip passed away in 2009:

quote:
4-8-2009 John Axel Prip 1922-2009
(about halfway down)

4/8/2009: John Axel Prip (1922-2009)
Jack Prip, a good friend, phenomenal silversmith, and respected teacher, died today in Cranston, Rhode Island. He was 86.

Prip was a master metalsmith known for setting standards of excellence in American metalsmithing. His works and designs have become famous for bringing the formal, technical tradition of Danish design into harmony with the American desire for innovation. Several of his designs for the Reed and Barton Company are still in production today.

Prip was born in New York to a Danish father and an American mother. As a child, he moved to Denmark with his family, where his father ran a silversmithing factory that had been his grandfather's. At 15, Prip began an apprenticeship while attending high school. The next five years were spent polishing stakes, sweeping up, and laboriously reproducing classical renderings. The experience taught diligence and a deeply rooted technical skill, but simultaneously imposed a restricted aesthetic. In a way it was the unlearning of these traditional forms and procedures that pushed the young silversmith into bold experiments and motivated the innovations that distinguished his career.

In 1948, Prip returned to the United States with his wife, Karen, and infant son, Peter. He came over on the same boat with a woodworker named Tage Frid, who was to become a lifelong colleague and friend. They had both been invited to teach at a new school in Alfred, New York, called the School for American Craftsmen. At the time, there were few places to study and limited knowledge of metalsmithing techniques in the United States. Prip's position was unique: his Danish training provided him with firm technical grounding, while his American environment encouraged the attitude of exploration and innovation that became a hallmark of his career.

When the school moved to the Rochester Institute of Technology two years later, Jack and his family, which now included daughter Janet, moved along with it. It was during this time in the early '50s that Prip and the crafts movement were eagerly searching for their own style. Along with Frans Wildenhain, Tage Frid, Ronald Pearson, and others, Prip established a gallery in Rochester called Shop One. This gallery was a unique institution in its time, providing not only a business venture originated and managed by craftsmen, but also a forum for the presentation of top quality avant-garde craftwork. Its mission was to educate the public to the special beauty of handmade objects.

In 1957, after three years with Shop One, Prip again felt the need to move on. Through some fortunate connections he was hired by Reed and Barton Company, a holloware and flatware manufacturer in Massachusetts. The title invented for the role he conceived was Artist-Craftsman-Residence. He was given a workspace, materials, and access to the 900-worker factory. It was understood that Prip had a responsibility to address himself to work that might eventually profit the company, but beyond that guidance no restrictions were imposed. Prip was to stay at Reed and Barton for three years. One indication of his success there is the fact that 20 years later several of his designs are still in production.

Prip returned to teaching at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and after three years went to the Rhode Island School of Design, where he would teach until 1981.

His one-man show at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1987, gave me a new appreciation for his work. Each piece was crafted to the point of absolute perfection. I remember finding it difficult to stop staring at such beautiful objects, even trying to locate that elusive solder joint pinhole. . . it never appeared! The holloware and flatware were raised, forged, and fabricated to stand the test of time. Many of the pieces in the exhibit were technically complex, with finishes ranging from smoothly polished to heavily organic. Prip's command of every material he handled–whether silver, bronze, pewter, precious stones, bone, glass, or granite–was obvious. Most of the sculptural objects were so whimsical that his utilitarian holloware and flatware looked to be conceived by a different artist.

Prip's aesthetic and impeccable craftsmanship are a testament to his love of silver and any other material he touched. His technical prowess enabled him to produce anything he envisioned. He often spoke fondly of his time in Denmark, his years teaching at RIT and RISD, and the artistic freedom he had at Reed and Barton. As Jack Prip spent his twilight years in the home he shared with his wife, Judy Skoogfors Prip, I hope he realized the tremendous impact he had on his students and the field of silversmithing.

Condolences can be sent to Judy Skoogfors Prip, 75 Fort Ave. Cranston, RI 02905.

What a incredible loss to the silver world. Jeffrey Herman, SAS Executive Director


~Cheryl

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dragonflywink

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iconnumber posted 07-04-2012 08:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Few more exhibition catalogs from the ACC Library.....


6 page PDF, more Prip:

John Prip/Metal, 1972

66 page PDF, lots of cool stuff, including Prip's 1961 Dimension flatware pattern for Reed & Barton:

For the Tabletop, 1980

38 page PDF, includes Prip's Onion teapot:

Forms in Metal, 275 Years of Metalsmithing in America, 1975

4 page PDF, on Prip's good friend:

Olaf Skoogfors, Jewelry, 1968

23 page PDF, various metal objects, jurored by Prip:

Goldsmith '70, 1970


~Cheryl

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 07-05-2012 09:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for this and the article.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 07-05-2012 11:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Janet Prip video

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dragonflywink

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iconnumber posted 07-05-2012 03:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a lovely video - left me liking the artist as much as her work; and had to chuckle at her bins-o-stuff, have done stress-relieving collage, assemblage and mosaic work for decades, very few understand my own containers of seemingly useless objects and paper bits.

~Cheryl

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dragonflywink

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iconnumber posted 07-05-2012 08:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regarding Prip's mark on his jewelry, it was just his hand-engraved signature; pieces from his partnership with Ronald Hayes Pearson were stamped with a sans-serif "PRIP-PEARSON".

Prip designed several pieces for Reed & Barton and was "craftsman-in-residence" from 1957-60, then serving as a consultant until 1970. In addition to a number of holloware designs in pewter, sterling and silverplate, he also designed sterling flatware. Lark was introduced in 1960, and Star was introduced at the same time, but according to Jewel Stern's Modernism in American Silver (2005), "Prip did not endorse the the embellishment of Lark with motifs to become Star, a decision imposed by management to broaden its appeal." Have to say that I'd agree with his feelings - and wonder if he had much to do with the release of Cellini and Da Vinci in 1967, essentially Lark and his 1961 Dimension pattern, with a cross-hatch/Florentine texture, available with optional engraving (to my eye, not particularly attractive). The somewhat unusually oriented Dimension knife handle was issued 1960 patent D187589, and the pattern was also adapted for silverplate flatware that R&B produced for Eastern Airlines.

My personal favorite is Tapestry, introduced in 1964 - simple elegant form, with an intricate, almost 'Shiebleresque' decoration. Have also seen the 1967 Diadem pattern attributed to Prip, but find little mention of it in references.

~Cheryl


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dragonflywink

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iconnumber posted 07-05-2012 09:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Modernism in American Silver also notes that Prip was responsible in large part for the development of Reed & Barton's 'Color-Glaze' holloware line, introduced in 1961, the bright finishes used on various pieces, including the classic 'Revere Bowl'.

1961 ad - the red Triangular Dish was one of Prip's designs:

~Cheryl

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dragonflywink

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iconnumber posted 07-05-2012 11:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mid 20th century Danish souvenir spoons, made by A. Prip of Copenhagen, all silverplate, as was most of their production.

Caddy spoon with Vikings playing lurer, long ship in bowl; the design was also made by another Copenhagen silverplate manufacturer, Madsen & T. Baagøes (somewhere, I have a small server and a bottle opener too, at least one by M&TB). Rainwater's Spoons Around the World shows this design with yet another mark, a conjoined VM/MV-in-circle.

Jam spoon with touches of enamel, the horse-drawn plough, windmill and wheat make me suspect it might be a souvenir of the Danish Agricultural Museum.

Caddy spoon with a nicely executed pair of long ships - this one also appears in the Rainwater book, with the same unknown manufacturer's mark as the lurer spoon.

Conjoined AP mark, with 'P' for Plet (silverplate):

~Cheryl

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 07-06-2012 07:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cheryl,

Thanks so much for sharing all this. smile
When I started reading the 07-05-2012 08:57 PM post June was walking by and noticed the first 4 patterns.... She too liked Tapestry best.

I think I share your beliefs, it does feel like a management/marketing design influence re:

  • Lark -> Star -> Cellini
  • Dimension -> Da Vinci

I can see where the form of Tapestry & Diadem pattern were influenced by the Dimension. It was the mid/late 1960's and "recreational" creativity by artists was in full sing, so perhaps it was some musings by Prip during a time when much of the American youth were creativity experimenting.

I don't see much of the 'Color-Glaze' holloware line these days. I wonder if it was not that popular or perhaps the enamel didn't hold up well being on the working side of the holloware?

Thanks for the A. Prip souvenir spoons post. I know very little about souvenir spoons but enjoy the insights you and other SSF members have shared about your souvenir spoon collecting. Also thanks for the image of the marks.

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ellabee

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iconnumber posted 07-15-2012 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ellabee     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have an example of that enameled line, and am happy to know more about the background. It's a two-headed jigger for mixing drinks; the ounce end is lined in green enamel and the ounce and a half in red. The enamel makes it more functional, IMO, but I wonder if the line just didn't/doesn't have wide esthetic appeal.

I got it for a song on an online auction three or four years ago. Will post pic soon.

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chase33

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iconnumber posted 07-15-2012 08:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chase33     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well I seemed to have missed this thread when it was originally posted!

A few months ago I was able to purchase an almost complete set of the Dimension and have since added to it to make a service for eight. I love the knives since they have a "twist" where the handle meets the blade which is pretty cool. I don;t know how successful this style was since they also made a regular knife without the twist. The other pieces are nicely weighted and feel great in the hand. I have since been a convert to Prip designs and would love to have the Dimension tea/coffee service.

I remember reading somewhere that he had a role in the design of R&B's Diamond pattern which most think of as being designed by Gio Ponti.

He also designed a silverplated casserole for R&B in the early 80's which is very nice looking.

The Color-Glaze line was pretty popular and there are many pieces to be found in shops, the web and on that big auction site. Color seems to be the biggest concern for collectors with lavender/purple considered the best (or at least the hardest to find). Quite a number of mid-century collectors use these pieces to enhance their collection of furniture and other items. While not a mid-century collector per se, I do have a number of pieces by Russel Wright, Ben Seibel, George Sakier etc and have a few of the Color-Glaze pieces.

Ok that went way off topic!

Thanks to all of the info and links in this thread, I really appreciate it!

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dragonflywink

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iconnumber posted 07-16-2012 12:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe 25 years ago, a friend asked me about repairing the lining of her R&B Color-Glaze bowl (her Mom's key bowl), hunted up the info for her, and if I recall correctly, they only did the work a batch at a time, and she had to wait until they had enough of her color to do, took about a year to get her piece back (wonder if they still redo them?). Most that I see seem pretty sturdy and have little wear to the interior; believe it's a baked enamel finish, definitely not a fired vitreous enamel. Color-Glaze seemed to be the most successful of the colored interior series, and along with Towle's 'Precious Enamel' (true fired enamel), still seems the best selling of the silverplate pieces. According to Jewel Stern, "The popularity of Color-Glaze was greater than expected and, when sales reportedly reached forty thousand dollars in a three week period, the firm's concern became one of production, not sales."; she also notes it was produced until the early '80s.

Most of the major manufacturers made similar series after R&B's success - Wallace had Color-Clad, Oneida made Silver Hues, F.B. Rogers imported from Denmark, and Gorham/Newport, in addition to solid colors, made an interesting blue to red ombre finish. I once had a sweet little harlequin set of tiny sterling, with enamel interior, snifter-form cordials by Gorham. Some of the Towle enamels are just gorgeous, many a bit earlier than Color-Glaze, produced in sterling and silverplate.

John Prip was asked to design the Diamond coffee and tea services to coordinate with the flatware, which was designed by Gio Ponti and adapted for production by R&B staff designer Robert H. Ramp.

Have to say, Stern's Modernism in American Silver is a wonderful book for anyone interested in 20th century silver - and a great companion to Venable's Silver in America, 1840-1940.

~Cheryl

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doc

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iconnumber posted 07-16-2012 07:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for doc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It must be a girl thing because I like the Tapestry pattern best as well. I was fascinated to learn about this family, about which I previously knew nothing. Always learning from you all; thanks.

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Kayvee

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iconnumber posted 07-17-2012 11:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kayvee     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In addition to the 5-piece tea and coffee service that Prip designed for R&B in 1958 to complement their Diamond pattern flatware by Gio Ponti, he also designed two salt and pepper shaker sets. Jewel Stern and William Hood wrote an in-depth article about The Diamond pattern published in the May-June 2007 issue of Silver Magazine.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 06-22-2018 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Smithsonian
Oral history interview with
John Prip
1980 Oct. 20 and 1981 Nov. 21

Smithsonian
Oral history interview with
Ronald H. Pearson
1979 May 31,1981

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dragonflywink

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iconnumber posted 03-28-2019 04:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Newly acquired Prip-Pearson enameled sterling salt (2.5" dia.), with an A.Prip sterling salt spoon (3") in a design reminiscent of some Jensen and Cohr patterns. Struck me as a nice pairing...

~Cheryl




This A.Prip mark is also found on silverplate spoons, with 'PLATE' replacing 'STERLING':


Not sure what the symbol on the Prip-Pearson piece means - the last pic shows a bit different symbol found on a pair of cufflinks:

[This message has been edited by dragonflywink (edited 03-28-2019).]

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June Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-29-2019 10:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for bringing this thread back to life, Cheryl. Beautiful pieces.

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dragonflywink

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iconnumber posted 06-21-2020 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finally acquired a Ronald Hayes Pearson salt and original spoon, in a lovely teal color, and other than weighing 3 grams more, exactly the same as the burnt orange Prip-Pearson salt above. The spoon/shovel nestles so beautifully in the salt, and seems clearly related to Pearson's iconic 1961 'Vision' pattern produced by International, an award winning design, later exhibited at the 1964 New York World's Fair.


The patent for 'Vision':


~Cheryl

[This message has been edited by dragonflywink (edited 06-21-2020).]

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ahwt

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iconnumber posted 06-22-2020 12:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I missed this post until now so thanks for reviving it. We were given as a wedding present a Reed Barton color (Green) glaze bowl in 1963. We used it for years to make and serve Café Brulé.
I can attest to their claim of imperviousness to high temperature as the ignited brandy and hot coffee had no effect on the color. I did not know of Mr. Prip’s connection to thIs innovation. Thanks for showing that connection.
We still have that bowl in a box somewhere, but where it is a problem for another day.


[This message has been edited by ahwt (edited 06-22-2020).]

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