IT ALL STARTED...In April of 1975 when Lois A. Wacholtz and Christopher M. Jupp formed a partnership to sell Christopher’s jewelry designs. In August of 1978 we opened a small storefront called The Dragon’s Hoard Jewelers near the campus of The University of Illinois. We began selling Christopher’s designs and other American handcrafted gifts by craftspeople we met on the arts and crafts fair circuit. Soon, we developed a regular clientele and eventually expanded our services to include jewelry repair and one-of-a-kind custom design. All production of Christopher’s designs is done on site in our 2,000-square-foot studio under the close supervision of Christopher and Lois.
Christopher’s interest in fantasy art and dragons continues to produce an ever-expanding selection of sterling silver and gold earrings, pins, pendants and rings. Everyone’s love of cats has produced a wonderful set of cat jewelry designs and we have added a line of Celtic pattern rings as well. New ideas lead to new designs and new production all the time, including fine jewelry earrings and rings.
We want to hear from you. Visit our store, browse our website or drop us a line. We look forward to sharing our work and our pleasure with you.
- Lois A. Wacholtz & Christopher M. Jupp
Christopher M. Jupp: Designer & MetalsmithCreating extraordinary custom jewelry for more than 30 years, Christopher M. Jupp blends his love of fine gemstones with his knowledge and creative talent to design, engineer and handcraft jewelry that not only suits an individual but brings their desires into reality.
Hosting Gemstone Roundtable events to give clients the opportunity to see, touch, learn about and choose fine gemstones from around the world then meeting with them to create a wonderful setting for their gemstone find shares Christopher’s broad knowledge of gemstones and the jewelry world.
He oversees the design and production of a jewelry line in his studio and store in Champaign, Illinois. His focus is one of a kind custom design. Working one on one with clients in store and online he facilitates designs specific to the individual’s interests, style and desires. Taking the detailed drawing to his studio to sculpt and craft the final piece.
Christopher’s love or working with each client one on one makes him a rare designer in the jewelry industry. He is a true artist and a skilled craftsman.
The Art of Custom DesignOur custom design archives are images of real pieces designed and custom crafted for individual clients by Christopher M. Jupp. These particular designs are not for sale or duplication. All designs are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. They are here to show you the incredible variety and depth of Christopher’s custom design capabilities.
WHAT IS REAL CUSTOM DESIGN?Christopher is a fine jewelry designer and an artisan. His work is sculpture in miniature. He works directly with the customer to define and sketch every project then hand sculpts the wax model for casting or crafts the piece directly from its metal components. Real Custom design is a very hands-on process and a very personalized one.
Most jewelry stores offer some kind of custom design service. Most actually order the mountings and the gemstones from an outside supplier and set them for the customer. This is a special order assembly process, not a real custom design process. There is also the Cad/Cam Process, where a design is produced using specialized computer software which then produces the wax model by machine to be cast.
Time is a valuable asset for all of us. When you want a truly wonderful artisan piece, please make an appointment to see the designer Christopher M. Jupp. This is the best way to get undivided attention to your project. Expect to spend about 45 minutes with him determining the details of the design. He will ask the right questions to help you determine the elements you desire most.
The cost of this service varies according to the materials used and the complexity and amount of detail required to ensure the design is exactly what you want. At the end of your appointment you will know the price of your custom-designed heirloom.
We require a 50% deposit at the start of a project with the balance due upon delivery. The crafting process takes 6 to 8 weeks from start to finish.