Hailing from a small town in Massachusetts, award winning master jeweler Chris Ploof was once a skinny boy lurking around the local living history museum, watching awestruck as the craftspeople manipulated what had previously seemed unyielding: glass, tin, iron. All the while, his spirit was fusing itself to the use of heat and tools to ingeniously create utility and elegance.
After traveling the world trying hands-on careers that spoke to his historical influences and technical skills, Chris found himself back on his boyhood path, attempting to make a forge improvised by a 55 gallon drum, some fire bricks and a hair dryer. Eventually his knowledge seeking lead him to jewelry making classes. At last, he was home.
Chris has studied with many well-known artists, and apprenticed under a master goldsmith. He has an insatiable curiosity and drive that lead him down long roads even after the challenges at hand have been met. “Impossible is only a temporary condition,” he likes to say. “If my customer wants a Damascus bathtub, we will make it for them.”
This intense drive is balanced with a wry, wonderful sense of humor that is one of his greatest assets when things don’t go as planned. “Sometimes my best discoveries come from my biggest mistakes,” he admits.
The Santa Fe Symposium has chosen Chris twice to receive the Industry Leader Award, his work is on the cover of Showcase 500 Rings: New Directions in Art Jewelry (Lark, 2012) and in countless other publications. His studio is located in Massachusetts, where he works with a carefully chosen, fun team of like-minded talent.
Listen to Chris’ interview on National Public Radio: “Day in the Work Life”