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.