Strange Freak Designs is quite a difficult brand to actually pin down – while there is something obviously bestial and gothic to the designs, it is certainly not reducible to those influences.  On closer examination there is a huge amount of subtlety to the works that you probably were not expecting – blue patinas, different colours of silver and innumerable methods of polishing are all employed here to create jewelry like no other.  It is surprisingly understated, very robust and with a unique atmosphere.

Continue reading for more from Naoto Furuya’s mind – you will not be disappointed.

I really like these faux stone rings.  The cabochon “stones” are actually pink silver, but they can be made in virtually any metal you like.

In terms of mythology the designer finds his influences from all over the world and I particularly like his visceral take on the Japanese Oni.  The above is also a good example of his restraint in polishing (top-right) and the flawless mirror finish (top-left), I would be hard pushed to pick which type I prefer…

Here are Strange Freak Designs’ more traditional biker rings, though still with a healthily disconcerting vibe.

The darker side…

Good to see whereas a lot of designers are making lighter and lighter jewelry as the cost of silver rises, Strange Freak continue to produce some serious heft for a really safe price.

Very simple, flowing at first glance, but sinister on closer inspection.  Very nice indeed.

Sharp edges on this spiral tower ring really make for a perfectly edgy setting.  I really like rings where the setting of the stone is the design feature.

The stone in this ring can be changed according to your daily tastes by popping out the stone at the back and popping in one of the 6 that come with it.  Unfortunately this was limited release and is not for sale anymore, so good luck in finding one!

These oddities were also on sale only as part of a limited release last year.  The coloured skulls are resin coated in glass which is what gives them their slightly speckled sheen.  As always with Strange Freak Designs, the lengths they go to to create something out of the ordinary is extraordinary.

I hope you have enjoyed this look around one of the major players in the Japanese silver scene.  The designer is very keen for his work to be seen in a more international context and will be around in Paris later this month at Eclat de Mode, so definitely stop by at the Japan booth if you are around.  Also, in a very rare move for a Japanese silver smith he actually has an English website and will even ship internationally – good for him!  I just hope that other designers will follow suit, it is really about time…

At any rate, I think this guy has got an amazing eye for detail and just enough flair to be innovative without being obviously gimmicky.  Highly recommended.

Tagged with →  
Share →

7 Responses to Strange Freak Designs

  1. Lisa says:

    Wow, those are stunning pieces of work. I have to say though, as always, I fall for the bright/colourful stuff – I adoooore resin/glass skull necklaces! o.O

  2. Tokyo Telephone says:

    Well I will keep my eye out for some more colourful jewelry, but I do tend to be drawn to the darker side…

    Glad you liked it!


  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mohd. Al-Shemmari and Japan Bump – 日本バンプ, R & S. R & S said: Strange Freak Designs […]

  4. Clare says:

    Love this guy’s work! Beautiful sculptural lines and elegant textures and then, on closer inspection, you realise “oh, it’s actually a hideous, eyeless, fantasy monster with pirahna-like fangs….” and yet the piece is still gorgeous! Am coveting the “Hydra” ring and “vertebra” bracelets. I’m a bit over skull jewellery in general but this line has so much more, including animal skulls and chrysalis versions of the grown-up creatures. Great to have an English website, too. May be sending him an order from Australia…..

  5. Tokyo Telephone says:

    Glad to hear it, everything I write about here I honestly believe has the potential to have international appeal and it is good to have that proved right every now and again.

    The designer is a really nice guy and I can definitely vouch that you won’t be disappointed with his work.


  6. Clare says:

    Well it’s been almost exactly a year since my last comment and Naoto has some amazing new designs on his Japanese website. I don’t know if I could carry off the ring and pendant design with the horrific, gaping jaws but it’s definitely an attention grabber – a sort of “Day of the Triffids” meets “Jaws”.
    I think what sets this designer apart is his incorporation of design and textural elements from the natural world, without resorting to literal interpretations. There are shell textures , exoskeletons, bones, insects, tentacles, seed pods, cocoons and so on woven into the designs in a way that seems totally logical and organic yet results in a creation that is absolutely unique.
    It turns out we are both collectors of natural ephemera and “found” objects like small animal skulls, insects and dead sea creatures – no wonder the work appeals to me!
    Ordering from overseas was quick and seamless; I so wish it could be so for other Japanese designers.

  7. Samuel says:

    @ Clare

    Glad to hear your order went well, unfortunately so many designers don’t think about overseas market. But there you go. It is such a shame when their work is so good, but they just don’t consider the business side of things.

    Anyway, I think I will have to do an update on SFD soon, he has put out so much amazing work lately and really raised his game lately.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *