John Prip is a fourth-generation metalsmith. Prip's family moved to Denmark, where he lived for fifteen years and absorbed the age-old craft skills and guild traditions of Scandinavian silversmithing. He served an apprenticeship with master silversmith Evald Nielsen and subsequently graduate from the Copenhagen Technical College in 1942. In 1948 Prip returned to America, where he was invited to set up the metalsmithing department of the School for American Craftsmen at Alfred University in New York, which was subsequently absorbed into the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1950.
After teacing at the school for six years, Prip worked for three years as an industrial designer for Reed & Barton Silver Company. He then returned to teaching, first at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and then at the Rhode Island School of Design for eighteen years, retiring in 1981.
Kenneth R. Trapp and Howard Risatti Skilled Work: American Craft in the Renwick Gallery (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998)