Shortly after graduating from high school in 1958, Goph began apprenticing as a precision toolmaker amid Santa Monica’s Aerospace industry. After developing his trade, he continued to work three more years as a journeyman. Goph’s experiences in precision machining would go on to inspire the clean, uncluttered lines and patient precision of his style as he transitioned into more artisanal trades.
Goph’s career as a professional jeweler and artist began in Big Sur, between 1966 and 1976. Starting out as more or less a street artist, selling his wares on the lawn at a Baez Concert. in 1969 he and fellow artist Karl Lee opened a small shop at the Coast Gallery. This venture came to an abrupt end however when a landslide, triggered by a winter storm, washed Goph’s studio into the Pacific Ocean.