I was on Instagram scrolling through my feed three weeks ago, and it sort of went like this…cute, ‘like’…funny, ‘comment’…still scrolling…why did they post that?!…still scrolling…Holy Cow–what am I looking at?!? (almost drop phone)
Joel Adam Baynard, the master behind Freestone Peach, did not set out to become a jewelry designer. In fact, his path to getting here has been quite diverse. Born and raised in North Carolina, he had creative relatives in the Blue Ridge Mountains who quilted, shaped stone and turned wood. He has served as a US Naval officer, lived in Japan four times (He’s fluent in Japanese!), has worked in healthcare construction and administration, and went to business school at Wake Forest University. Who knew that this would be the path to selling his first piece in August of 2013.
While interning for a construction company in Tokyo in 1999, Joel learned about the Shibui aesthetic, “…which consists of seven qualifiers: Simplicity, Implicitness, Modesty, Silence, Naturalness, Everydayness, and Imperfection.” I had to read this list many times for it to start sinking in. I like this philosophy a lot.
He strives for Shibui in his creations. He told me, “I think second chances and relationships are the heart of my work. I use flawed pieces of wood, scraps that would be burned, and fruit trees that are abandoned to infestation. The wood could not stand alone, typically next in line for the burn pile. The stones don’t make the cut as most cull through them. I take these two imperfect materials and marry them together. The wood provides a darkling and elegant structure that holds the stone together. The gems fill the emptiness of the timber with an astringent spontaneity and new life. Silent, simple, unobtrusive beauty.” Wow…I’m floored by this description.
Love this behind the scenes look at his workbench.
Here is a bangle made from the ivory wood of a spalted apple tree. I particularly enjoy the unique color of the wood, don’t you?