Real Custom Design Jewelry:
Our jewelry artists work with you
custom jewelry that is highly personal, finely crafted, and of
the highest quality. Not just an altered mass market mounting,
but real custom jewelry design from start to finish.
Things Rich & Strange is a division of Foxfire Jewelers, which has
been creating custom jewelry since 1985.
years we've made thousands
rings, custom pendants, custom earrings, etc for our custom design
clients, each one different and unique. This is jewelry at it's
our Custom Design Portfolio
Most Jewelers sell jewelry that is
by the thousands in a factory setting, the same design, over and
over. Some alter this factory made jewelry and call it custom.
Real custom design jewelry is so much
than simply fitting a setting to an existing mass produced ring
or such. It is creating an entirely new piece of jewelry from
design to modeling, to casting, fabrication and finishing. It
is what Things Rich & Strange and Foxfire specializes in.
The biggest thing which distinguishes
other custom jewelers is the variety of our designs, and the care
we take with each client.
To see how custom jewelry is made,
Sometimes a product of our imagination
inspiration, or often the result of a custom design consultation with
a client, our designs are unfailingly creative and truly different.
We capture them in full color drawings which are done while our
customer watches during the consultation.
We can usually find an idea for a client,
on a series of questions and our intuition. It's amazing to capture
just what someone wants, sometimes immediately, sometimes through
a series of drawings.
Our customers often express their
have something made which is truly, just what they want.
many pieces we use a process called Lost Wax Casting, and the
first step is to carve a wax model of the ring, pendant or other
jewelry creation. We use several different hardnesses of wax,
from soft candle-like wax to wax resembling hard plastic. From
these we fashion an exact likeness of what the article will be,
using files, scrapers, rotary tools and sharp carving blades to
shape the wax.
Often, we will build up the wax by
melting with a wax
pen, other times filing and removal are the preferred method.
Sometimes we will even use manual or CAD/CAM
(computer assisted design/computer assisted manufacturing)
machining to achieve the perfect rendition of the design.
the wax model is complete,
our client comes in to view it. After
all, a drawing is great, but it's only two dimensional, likewise
a photo. The wax model allows you to see how thick, or wide or
well, just, three dimensional the piece will be. Then, when you
can see it live, we can make alterations to bring it more in line
with what your vision of the design is.
After alterations, we will again show
make sure the wax meets your approval, then it's on to casting.
The completed wax model is encased in
plaster which will withstand very high temperatures. We then take
plaster mold, and put it in the kiln (a high temperature oven)
where over the course of several hours it is heated to 1,250 degrees,
so that the wax vaporizes leaving no residue.
is time to cast. After stabilizing the flask at its casting
it's placed on the vacuum machine in position so that vacuum pressure
is drawn through the porous plaster. At the same time we will
have melted the appropriate amount of Karat gold casting grain
(like little BB's of gold) in the crucible, which we heat with
a large torch. With the flask under vacuum pressure, we then cast
the ring by quickly pouring the molten gold into the flask where
it immediately solidifies.
We then dunk the flask in cold water where the remaining heat
causes the plaster to boil away and dissolve almost explosively.
Then we can wash off any remaining plaster from the ring and begin
the next step.
We take a lot
of pride in our casting abilities. Through careful monitoring
of temperatures and alloys, we are able to achieve superior results,
yeilding finished pieces that are dense and free from pits and
casting, the jewelry piece has
the general shape and form of the final product but has a rough
First we smooth the contours of the piece using the files, both
coarse and fine, then sandpaper and various rotary tools to take
any roughness away. This is a very important step for any variations
here will affect the final shape of the creation. Then the article
progresses to polishing. Using felt and cloth wheels on the polishing
motor, the surface of the ring is refined to a high shine, first
with Tripoli, then finally polishing with Rouge.
Many times we
will add some details such as prongs
and bezel settings, and other design elements, after casting.
Some pieces, in fact are produced entirely by
is, forming parts from sheet and wire and putting them together
with gold solder.
Gold solder is unlike what most people picture when the word solder
is used, for it contains no lead or other soft metals. Instead,
the 14 Karat Plumb Gold Solder (and 18 Karat, Platinum, etc are
plumb as well) Foxfire uses is actually 14 Karat gold. As we know
14 Karat gold is 14 parts pure gold and 10 parts alloy. In gold
solder the 10 parts alloy are formulated to make the solder melt
at a slightly lower temperature than regular 14 Karat gold. Setting
the stones and a final polishing completes the piece.
Some of our pieces, particularly
a time honored
and precise technique. Using carefully sharpened bits of steel
called gravers, the goldsmith
carves intricate designs directly
into the metal itself, usually under a microscope for added detail.
This is most often used to give the piece a vintage, victorian
appearance. When combined with handmade filagree, the look is
a setting technique which uses those same gravers to form prongs
to hold stones in place. Starting with a plain surface, the goldsmith
carves and forms beads around the stones after placing them in
precisely drilled seats. Then gravers are again employed to carve
a bright border around the stones, completing the setting.
Your Finished Masterpiece
piece of Jewelry from Foxfire Jewelers and Things Rich & Strange is
different from any other.
It will fit well and be a beautiful adornment to be worn for many
years. We set standards of quality for materials and craftsmanship
which will ensure your satisfaction and pride of ownership, and
we back these standards with warranties and service that set Foxfire
Our designs and artistic approach contribute to make Foxfire Jewelers and Things Rich & Strange stores with distinction, recognized repeatedly in
in Ornament Magazine, National Jeweler Magazine, Lapidary Journal
Magazine and in local newspapers.
Strange is a sister store of Foxfire Jewelers (since 1985)
When in the Seattle area, please visit Foxfire's Studio and Store,
or see our webpages at: FoxfireJewelers.com
Thank you for visiting our web pages!