Meet Joel, owner of Freestone Peach and the creative mind behind the most beautiful bangles I have ever seen.
Joel didn't make it through business school, so while figuring out a job he started experimenting in his father's wood shop. Eventually he got the hang of turning wood and polishing gems.
The process: First he scrounges for the wood, looking in scrap bins, orchards and in the forest. Her looks for wood with character so he takes his time digging through piles to find the perfect piece. Joel then turns the wood into a rough shape and looks for a figure in it.
"I may have a black piece sitting on the shelf for a year before I put a stone in it, I like to contemplate the best matches between wood and stone."
Once he has selected the stone and wood, he builds the bracelet in an organic and freestyle way which is unique to each piece.
The inspiration: Japanese aesthetics, especially Shibui Arts and Crafts. Also, colorful paintings.
"I practically paint with gems and wood."
He continued on to say, "I think second chances and relationships are fundamentally at the heart of my work. The wood could not stand alone by itself. It is typically next in line for the burn pile. The stones don't make the cut as most cull through them. I take the 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."
When I asked Joel about his favorite artists and designers he gave me a long list : "Louis Comfort Tiffany. Gustav Stickley. Frank Lloyd Wright. Anything Shibui. Anish Kapoor. Martin Puryear. Roy Lichtenstein. Richard Serra. Maya Lin. Giuseppe Penone. Anything on @Thirdcoastgems' Instagram feed. Plus, Todd Reed (not sure when I found him, but I love the textures in the metals that he does!)"
Music he is currently listening to in the shop? Loscil on Pandora.
Follow Joel on Instagram to see more designs.