Russell Criswell
Owner / Master Craftsman
Russell founded Vulcan’s Forge Jewelers in 1986, after completing a 7-year apprenticeship in metalsmithing. Experience in fabrication, machine work and retail customer service gave a solid background for running a custom jewelry store. Over 30 years of custom work, he has created some truly unique pieces, pushing the boundaries of what can be called jewelry. “I enjoy the challenge of creating something that has never existed. It’s very rewarding to make something unique from a customer’s idea. We are now seeing a second generation. The children of couples I made wedding sets for are coming in for wedding jewelry of their own. Several have told me they would not consider getting their special jewelry anywhere else.” Russell’s talents extend to creating armor and weapons, and restoring his 105-year-old home and 50-year old cars. Scuba diving and travel round out some of his outside interests.
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Byron Phillips
Senior Bench Jeweler
Byron began working for Vulcan's Forge in January 2006. After graduating with a BFA in metalsmithing and jewelry from K-State in 1997, Byron went to work for noted silver-artist Robyn Nichols. When he heard about Vulcan's Forge, he realized what an opportunity it was for him to grow in his interests. For the past few years Byron has made thousands of custom pieces, much to the pleasure of our customers.
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Jacob Solum
Trusted Advisor

With a history as an art teacher and his own leather-smith business, Jacob has always had an eye for artistic crafting. His experience through arts education, previous work with Tandy Leather Factory, and his own business Crying Eye Leather aid him in being able to help with crafting and designing custom pieces in his position at Vulcan’s Forge.  Whether he’s entertaining patrons as an actor with various Renaissance Festivals, or leading groups through thrilling stories at his LARP Tempest of Tridia, Jacob has always had an eye in pleasing customers and making sure they get the best out of every visit. 

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Jeffrey Groves
Bench Jeweler

Before joining the Vulcan’s Forge team in 2016, Jeffrey began his jewelry career in 1999 with a traditional seven-year apprenticeship under Peter Zacharias in Lawrence, KS.  He takes equal pride and joy in jewelry design, fabrication, and repair, knowing that every piece is precious to its owner.  He has a BA in Ancient and Classical Studies, and he published his debut novel in 2018.

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