For Kym Joles, every Friday is black. Every Saturday is yellow, and Tuesdays are light green. This color association stems from Joles’ synesthesia, a sensory phenomenon that, in Joles’ case, causes her visual perception of different colors to evoke different emotions.
A lifelong home baker, Joles discovered an outlet for that emotional palette in elaborate cookie decorating. “I am very much a person who feels too much in many circumstances, but, in turn, that is what drives my work,” Joles says. “Cookies, without a doubt, are my therapy.” Her edible artistry offers a type of meditation, and it’s a craft she shares with others through classes ($95, $145 for private lessons) at her Sammamish-based home studio, The Fox and Pantry. These meticulously frosted, piped and painted shortbreads look a better fit for art galleries than bellies, but Joles insists it’s the act of embellishing the cookies, not consuming them, that provides the most satisfaction. “We actually sit and play with colors and textures and consistency,” Joles explains. “We don’t do that enough as adults.”