HENRYVILLE’S ADAM KLEINERT FINDS BEAUTY IN MISTAKES AND TURNS THEM INTO GEMS
By Mariah Kline
Photos by Christian Watson
Adam Kleinert has no idea what to expect.
The talented artist, who has made a name for himself as a sought-after graphic designer whose clients include both local and national companies, recently began a foray into jewelry making.
“The nature of the beast is learning to find the beauty in the mistakes,” he said quietly, a smile behind his words. “It’s about embracing imperfection, but you should talk to my wife about that.”
Kleinert laughed at the double entendre but turned the focus to wabi-sabi – a Japanese ideal that has been Westernized to essentially embody the concept that nothing is perfect and there is beauty in that – which is something he has embraced personally, professionally and artistically.
Born into a creative family, Kleinert began drawing at a young age and says his parents consistently encouraged him to pursue his passion. He majored in fine art and graphic design at
Ball State University, where he studied painting, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture after first attending Hanover College where he played baseball, though his heart was always in aesthetics.
“We couldn’t use the computer for graphic design until our junior year,” recalled Kleinert,
whose work was quickly noticed and admired by his professors and peers.
“Everything had to be hands on. We were using computers, but they still wanted our work to have a fine art feel to it and think with our minds instead of thinking with a computer. Even after we could start using computers, I did quite a few projects all by hand because I enjoyed it.”
Years later, Kleinert – who co-writes Extol Magazine’s FamFitter column with his wife,
Kristin, and also serves as the publication’s creative director – enjoys expressing his artistic talents in various mediums.
“It’s always whatever hits me or inspires me,” Kleinert said. “Sometimes, I’ll paint, sometimes I’ll draw. I’ll do live drawings on Facebook, and I do a comic (sometimes live on Facebook) every
week. I just do whatever I can to release all of my creative juices.”
On his Facebook page – Adam Kleinert Workroom – followers can find the adorable and hilarious comic “Poco & Mo,” which was inspired by one of his daughters and her pet goat,
as well as several of his other projects. The latest undertaking he’s shared is handmade jewelry
crafted with resin and barn wood.
“The wood I’m working with now came out of a barn in Charlestown,” he said. “The beams are probably 150 years old or more, and the barn has been torn down since. (The jewelry) has a true Southern Indiana history to it, and it’s almost like a little piece of history you’re wearing.”
Kleinert said he devised the method for making the pieces by accident.
“I started playing with (the wood) for another project, but as I cut into it, I found all these holes.
Mother nature and time had just destroyed this wood but in a beautiful way to where there are
holes and gaps,” he said. “It’s just been eaten at and deteriorated by pests and bugs and everything through the years. Then, I started thinking about this resin and playing around with it, so it just kind of came naturally after that, and I turned it into pendants and earrings.”
Kleinert has since perfected the process, which requires a great deal of patience. While it is admittedly painstaking, he appreciates the experience.
“With this jewelry, the resin and the wood, I don’t know what’s going to happen when I pour
it because I can’t see inside the wood until I cut into it and get to see these beautiful colors and
shapes. So, I don’t even know how much I’m actually doing there. It’s more that mother nature
did all the hard work,” Kleinert said.
As sole owner of Hatch Design Co., a graphic design company, Kleinert said, “I have my design work where I plan and collaborate with clients, which I thrive on, and I appreciate those partnerships and structure.”
The artist lives in Henryville with his wife, four children and several furry family members in a rural setting, all of which feeds into his creative and energetic spirit on every level.
“I have a lot of family around and it’s always a blessing to have that. And I like being out in the
country,” he said. “I think I draw a lot of inspiration from that as well. I’ve never really thought about it before now, but I think the small community and kind of being out in the open inspires me.”
And, with his new foray into jewelry making, he has experienced a newness he didn’t expect.
“It can be more free-flowing,” said Kleinert. “You can mess it up and it still turns out in a beautiful way. That’s what I like about it: being creative and letting whatever comes out, come out.”
Adam Kleinert’s jewelry is available at
Regalo, 562 S. Fourth St. in Louisville or via @
AdamKleinertWorkroom on Facebook