Local artist Robert Lopez is a metal-smith who designs the most unique jewelry around. He owns and operates Robert Lopez Designs which is about to be a must visit destination spot here in Yucaipa.

Robert Lopez Designs has recently relocated from First Street to 12135 California St. Suite B in Yucaipa. “I was on First Street and it was so tiny, there was no room for growth. I have been here for about two months now, with our soft opening held during the Music and Arts Festival,” said Lopez.

Lopez has been making jewelry for many years, first as a hobby and now as a profession. “I started making jewelry about 13 years ago. I started small, first with wire wrapping and I have now been a metal-smith for about 10 or 11 years. It started as a hobby, playing with it here or there while still working. I now have been a full-time professional artist for the past five years,” said Lopez.

Having experimented in all different medians of art including painting and even tattoos, Lopez found his niche in being a metal-smith. “With all other art medians I would get bored so quickly but metal-smithing stuck with me. Probably because I was good at it from the beginning and also because it is difficult to do, there are so many different tools that are used. I work with fire and an injury can occur easily, its dangerous and it takes muscle. For me it is a way of getting out energy where other arts are not as rough.”

Lopez continued about his favorite art, “My pieces are raw and organic designs that are fabricated with skill yet are free to grow without constraints or preconceived notions. They are one-of-a-kind and made with my own hands.”

Having traveled all over the country, first just showing his jewelry at gem and jewelry shows and then teaching at them, Lopez is ready to settle down and open the world of art to Yucaipa. “I have been doing this for awhile and I knew that eventually I would not want to travel and I would want to just teach here in Yucaipa. There is so much going on in town, with the performing arts center, new wineries, vision quest and festivals, I want to bring in national artists and instructors to teach classes and showcase their work as well. I’m going to make this a destination spot.”

Lopez not only plans to have classes and demos for his median but for all other medians as well. “I have friends who will come in and teach ceramics, glass blowing, leather smithing, and so much more, everything from beginning to advanced classes. I also plan on having smaller classes, maybe some wine and paint nights.”

The next demos available at Robert Lopez Designs are Saturday, May 19 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. To RSVP, email RML313@aol.com.

The studio is open with hours subject to change, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 714-504-0673 for weekend hours.

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