Posted May 03, 2013
Celebrate Mom's constant love and support with a piece of infinity jewelry. Looping back over itself, the infinity symbol represents the interlocking and unbroken mother-child relationship.
Discover more great jewelry for mom in our Mother's Day jewelry collection at Fog + Foundry.
Posted April 08, 2013
To celebrate Spring's arrival, this week we're highlighting jewelry inspired by nature. Each of these pieces pays tribute to an element of the natural world, and make an exciting addition to Spring fashions.
Desert Bloom Earrings, $135
Designed and handmade by Los Angeles label Agapantha, these earrings boast a small collection of gemstones, expertly handwrapped in your choice of sterling silver or gold fill. Designer Dani Paquin draws inspiration from the desert origins of her adopted hometown to craft playful accessories.
Blue Topaz Pendant Necklace, $128
Designer Alexa Allamano crafts organic, uniquely elegant pieces for her Seattle-based Foamy Wader line of jewelry. In this pendant necklace watery aquamarine, moss aquamarine, chalcedony, and freshwater pearls find a home that accentuates their natural beauty.
Gemstone Cluster Earrings, $88
The rich, earthy colors of these earrings from San Francisco designer Nell Herbert make for a dramatic look. The champagne mystic quartz briolettes accompanied by clusters of small, faceted prehnite and tourmaline rondelles are married to gold vermeil in an organic-inspired union.
Silver Branches Ring, $139
Seattle designer Lori Linkous Devine uses an intricate soldering and shaping process on interwoven 18 gauge sterling silver wire to craft this organic arrangement of sterling silver "branches" that wrap around and gently enfold the finger. Her lolide line of jewelry fuses the natural with the industrial to create bold yet feminine works of art.
Posted February 13, 2013
Drop earrings are a classic style, designed to flatter without the drama of a dangle or chandelier earring. Alexa Allamano is the designer behind Seattle's Foamy Wader and offers a fresh take on the drop earring. We're proud to carry many of her drop earring styles exclusively.
Aquamarine Drop Earrings, $38
The Aquamarine Drop Earrings shine as a testament to the gemstone's promise of calm and protection at sea, as well honoring the brand's aquatic inspiration. Sparkling aquamarine is hand wire-wrapped and hangs from twisted circles beneath a handformed artisan french ear hook.
Citrine Drop Earrings, $38
Pear-shaped stones twinkle in this pair of Citrine Drop Earrings, which is available in your choice of sterling silver or 14k gold fill. The teardrop shaped gemstones are said to convey cheerfulness and emotional control
Amethyst Drop Earrings, $38
Deep purple orbs are the star of the Amethyst Drop Earrings. A sign of peace and protection - and the February birthstone - amethyst is hand wire-wrapped in the organic-inspired style that is the hallmark of the Foamy Wader line.
Posted January 07, 2013
Photo credit: San Francisco Public Library
A week into a new year and many of our resolutions have already fallen by the wayside. That's because eating healthy or working out can require some major changes in behavior. Choosing a slight variation in your habits is more likely to be successful. That's why this year we're resolving to be better consumers. We're already going to be shopping, so committing to a subtle change to our routines doesn't require nearly the amount of willpower that dropping 10 pounds will.
Here are a few tips should you wish to follow suit. Because it may not be too late to get your deposit back on those personal training sessions.
Start local - as we discussed last year, there's a virtuous cycle of identity and accountability that builds a bond between buyers and merchants to create the best possible shopping experience for both parties. Cultivating these relationships in your community will mean a better shopping experience when you frequent these businesses plus a higher standard for you as a consumer. You'll no longer tolerate the poor quality and lackluster service that often passes for retail.
Speak up - after cultivating relationships with merchants and playing a role in improving your own shopping experience your work isn't done. Rather than continue to suffer the indignity of disappointing service from other merchants, you should feel empowered by your positive shopping experience and speak up when you're unhappy with the service you're receiving. Most merchants crave honest feedback. Too often customers leave stores dissatisfied without giving the merchant a chance to rectify the issue. Give merchants a chance to earn your trust and refuse to shop with those that rebuff your criticism.
Start up - the birth of e-commerce gave shoppers in far flung locations the access to more products and better pricing. The next generation of disruption in the marketplace is happening via crowd funding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Consumers may now directly express their desire for a product by funding its development and production.
Realizing how much power the consumer has with his dollars and his voice is the key to developing a new generation of great shopping experiences. Here's to seizing that power in 2013.
Posted November 20, 2012
Photo credit: Flickr user Knitted Owl
Earlier this year we revealed a retail buyer's secrets to shopping a craft fair. This time we turned the tables and offer you some tips from an exhibitor. Alexa Allamano is the designer behind the Foamy Wader brand of jewelry and the author of this post.
During the holiday shopping season craft fairs can become mighty crowded. With the fast-growing momentum for buying handmade and supporting small businesses, visiting a juried event like Renegade Craft Fair can become much like a trip to a mall of entirely artisan-made goods. So, how can you find just the right gifts for everyone on your list at a craft fair? Here are a few tips I've gleaned from my years as a vendor.
Many of these events have a vendor gallery on their websites. Fill a mug with your favorite warm drink and spend an hour or two checking out the artists and take notes. Find something perfect? Bonus points if you send the artist an email in advance asking if they can set one aside for you to pick-up at the show!
Set your alarm
It's the weekend and it's time to sleep in, right? True, but arriving early comes with its advantages. Shows are typically less crowded before noon and some fairs even give out swag bags to the first shoppers through the doors. When provided, complementary services like massages and hair braiding garner long lines fast (after all it's free) so it's beneficial to beat the crowds.
Got a question about size, price, color, ingredients, eco-friendliness, etc.? Make yourself heard! Vendors are there to serve you and we love to do so, so don't be shy.
So, you've found something and you're 90% certain it's the perfect treasure but need to satisfy your curiosity by visiting a couple other booths first. Ask if the artist will hold said giftable goodie while you wander. The only caveat - be quick! Often goods at these events are one-of-a-kind or made in very limited quantities so you'll likely have a 60-90 minute window to choose between gift ideas before the held item will go back on display.
Bring a stash of cash
Many of the vendors are set-up with merchant processing on their smartphones in order to accept credit cards, however reception in large concrete venues with massive crowds isn't always reliable. It you want to speed through the checkout process having cash on hand can be quite - well - handy. Artists sometimes waive the sales tax for cash sales which means you save money! This is also a great trick to help adhere to a shopping budget.
Have a grand ol' time
Every craft fair is designed to be a fun environment for you, the shopper. A percentage of the fees that the vendors pay to participate provides for the following: fantastic DJs, make-and-take craft activities, swag bags, skilled craft demonstrations, craft book signings, photo booths, drinks and snacks, live bands, pampering services, even gift wrapping stations. Each show is different so while you're doing your pre-shopping, take a minute to learn about the awesome freebies that you can expect to find.
I wish you and yours a very happy handmade holiday season!
Wondering where to put these new skills to the test? Here are few recommend craft fairs inside the Fog + Foundry footprint:
Bazaar Bizarre - San Francisco
December 15 + 16
Renegade Craft Fair San Francisco Holiday Market
December 1 + 2
December 8 + 9
Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market
December 1 + 2
Urban Craft Uprising
Posted November 12, 2012
Photo credit: Flickr
We've asked our designers to recommend their five favorite local traditions this time of year. Today's blog is guest written by Seattle-based designer Alexa Allamano of Foamy Wader.
As a native of Seattle, I have a few traditions that epitomize the holiday season for me. Baking, a viewing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, decorating a tree, hearing the song "Christmas in the Northwest" roughly 100 times - the usual suspects. Some more recent additions include sipping my partner's homemade eggnog, a reunion amongst my girlfriends from high school, and a marathon gift-wrapping day after my return home from the holiday craft fair circuit. Here are a few of my favorites, new and old.
An over 60-year tradition, the residents of Park Road in the Ravenna neighborhood festoon their homes with elaborate lights and decorations. It's a high voltage winter wonderland. Donations of canned foods are collected and given to local food banks. Nightly Dec. 1 - Jan. 1, 4pm-11pm; until midnight the 24-25 and 31.
The Seattle Center puts on Winterfest every year which includes ice sculpting, Dickensian carolers and many music performances as well as an ice skating rink.
Good for the young and the young at heart, this tradition goes hand-in-hand with a visit to Santa and distracting the kiddies while gift shopping. Proceeds benefit Treehouse, a local non-profit dedicated to giving foster kids a childhood and a future.
The Sheraton Hotel partners with local architectural firms to design and build lavish Gingerbread structures which are on display in the hotel lobby during December. 100% of the donations collected benefit diabetes research.
As adults my sister and I have carried on the tradition of the annual Santa photo but have opted to visit the multicultural Santas in lieu of the traditional Caucasian one. The diverse Santa line-up has included African-American Santa, Asian Santa, and ASL Santa, a particular favorite as my sister is well-versed in sign language.
Posted November 05, 2012
With the holidays ahead our network of independent designers has produced a number of new pieces that we're excited to add to the Fog + Foundry store. For today's additions we'll focus on new jewelry under $50 - great gift ideas for teens, teachers and Yankee Swaps.
The latest in personalized jewelry from Seattle's Foamy Wader, the Hand-Stamped Name Necklace (pictured above) is a hand-forged from your choice of sterling silver or gold fill and hand-stamped with up to nine characters to create a truly custom piece for only $45.
Green Onyx Post Earrings, $49
The Green Onyx Post Earrings are delicate, glowing green onyx cube-shaped gemstones hand wire-wrapped with 14k gold fill. Made by Nell Herbert of San Francisco, these earrings are emblematic of her organic style.
Infinity Circle Necklace, $38
This elegant twist on the classic infinity symbol is another new piece from Foamy Wader. The Infinity Circle Necklace features a pendant of two interlocked, hammered circles in your choice of sterling silver or gold fill.
Moss Amethyst Necklace, $40
An organic moss amethyst faceted birolette is hand wire-wrapped by Foamy Wader. The Moss Amethyst Necklace is suspended by a delicate chain in your choice of sterling silver or gold fill.
Black Spinel Post Earrings, $49
For this pair of Black Spinel Post Earrings Nell Herbert hand wire-wrapped cube-shaped gemstones to balance their deep color with their reflective properties. These simple post-style earrings are versatile enough to pair with any outfit.
Posted October 31, 2012
As the calendar rolls over to November tomorrow we can expect the flood of political commercials to be replaced by a flood of holiday shopping commercials. But before we turn our attention to the holidays, let's not overlook our loved ones with November birthdays. We've compiled a list of great birthday gifts below in our November Gift Guide.
The November birthstone is Citrine, a golden yellow quartz stone ascribed with the money, luck, protection and healing energies. Our Jewelry collection features a number of choice pieces that showcase Citrine in a variety of styles.
Citrine Drop Earrings, $38
The Citrine Drop Earrings from Alexa Allamano of Seattle's Foamy Wader are a Fog + Foundry Exclusive. Sparkling citrine is hand wire-wrapped and hangs from twisted circles beneath handformed artisan french ear hooks.
Honey Drop Citrine Necklace, $80
The Honey Drop Citrine Necklace from San Francisco's Nell Herbert features a gorgeous citrine briolette that appears to glow from within, is wire wrapped and hangs from a delicate 14k gold fill chain. The necklace is finished with 2 citrine rondelles and a lobster clasp.
Sunspot Earrings, $119
Lori Linkous Devine of lolide in Seattle crafts these stunning Sunspot Earrings from handcut 18-gauge sterling silver wire with a deep matte grey finish. The stark contrast between the deep grey and the luminous glow of the gemstone is striking.
With the decrease in daylight and the increase in obligations, November represents an opportunity to help the man in your life get organized. Our Bags + Accessories collection offers several stylish tools for the man on the go.
Tan Daypack Backpack, $200
Crafted by Elias Grey of Portland's Lemolo Baggage, this Tan Daypack Backpack is the ideal carryall for weekend trips and everyday errands. The sturdy outer layer is constructed with cotton army duck canvas treated with a double application of waterproofing agents, while the inner liner is composed of lightweight abrasion/water resistant Cordura.
Leather iPhone 5 Case, $30
Know an early adopter who was able to get his hands on the iPhone 5? He'll want to protect that device with this handsome Leather iPhone Case crafted from gorgeous, thick, textured indigo blue bull leather. Hand cut and sewn by Jill Harrell of San Francisco's Scabby Robot, the case features a raw leather edge and corner rivet detail.
Black Leather Flap Wallet, $60
Know someone suffering from George Costanza Exploding Wallet syndrome? Help him streamline his life with this single-pocket Black Leather Flap Wallet by Renato Batalla of San Diego's LthrwD. Made from Horween Chromexcel leather, this design showcases traditional styling with a focus on both form and function.
Looking for a specific product for a November birthday gift? Have a November birthday yourself and want to drop a few hints? Leave a comment below or on the Fog + Foundry Facebook page.
Posted October 02, 2012
From San Francisco ceramic artist Hope Johnson we have two new plate series ready to be put into action this month to hold candy or to serve as a spooky backdrop for a Halloween-themed dinner party. The Burnt Orange Poppy plate series features a hand-drawn poppy motif and a burnt orange matte glaze, and the Blue Beetle series is finished with an ocean blue gloss glaze. Both series include a 5-inch plate, a 6-inch plate and a dipping dish. Each piece is sold individually.
Another San Francisco-based artist has a pair of products perfect for the friend with an October birthday. If you've studied our guide to birthstones you'll know that Tourmaline is this month's stone. From jewelry designer Nell Herbert, the Pink Quartz Teardrop Necklace is accented with two pink tourmaline rondelles. Its sleek and striking style is perfect for your sophisticated friend.
Also from Nell Herbert are the Gemstone Cluster Earrings, which features quartz briolettes accented by clusters of prehnite and tourmaline rondelles. This handmade piece offers a dramatic finish to any outfit.
Stay tuned for more new product updates. We'll be adding new lines to the Fog + Foundry storefront throughout the fall and into the holidays.
Posted July 30, 2012
During the quiet of summer it's easy for the month of August to sneak up on us. And that's doubly true if you have a loved one with an August birthday. And unless that loved one adores school supplies, there's very little new product out there to get excited about.
To address those problems we've assembled an August birthdays gift guide.
For the host:
San Francisco-based designer Hope Johnson handbuilds each piece in her studio. With a background in architecture, she draws on a love for mid-century modernism that is never more evident than in her Crimson Dahlia Flower Plate. Available in three sizes and completely food safe, these plates make an ideal gift for the perfect host in your life.
For the style icon:
Peridot is the August birthstone and we stock two great pieces from Seattle jewelry line lolide that feature peridot. The Silver Eye Ring is an oversized sterling silver ring cradling a precious gem stone. The streamlined style is bold and feminine. And new to Fog + Foundry is the Sterling Silver Peridot Ring. The gem is cradled by an oxidized silver disk that contrasts and emphasizes the luminous green of the stone.
For the urban explorer:
Portland's own Lemolo Baggage crafts stylishly durable backpacks and accessories designed to hold up to the region's weather and fashion. Outfit the hip explorer in your life with Lemolo's Seafoam Daypack Backpack, perfect for the adventurous life.
Explore the rest of Fog + Foundry's catalog for dozens more great gifts for August birthdays or any other occasion. And for the last two days of July, enjoy free shipping on every purchase by using the coupon code JULY at checkout.