Toby and Laura, also known as Branch+Barrel, are a husband and wife team based in the beautiful mountain town of Bend, Oregon.
In 2015, Branch+Barrel was a seed of an idea that came about as Laura first explored the possibilities of combining wood and metal. Although the initial creations weren’t the kind of designs we take pride in sharing with you today, they were all she needed to realize the incredible potential and surprising harmony that these seemingly opposing materials can create when combined. Those early designs did however generate enough enthusiasm amongst friends and passers by that Laura realized she needed some help to share her creations with a wider audience. This is when Toby moved from a supporting role to a full time member of Branch+Barrel. The combination of Laura’s creativity and artistic vision with Toby’s personable nature and photography skills allowed Branch+Barrel to begin to grow beyond the original seed of an idea it once was.
Today, Laura focuses her time and attention on designing and creating each piece of Branch+Barrel jewelry. Originally from Central Pennsylvania Laura has spent her life immersed in the world of Art. Her travels overseas have allowed her to garner inspiration and techniques from a variety of sources, all of which she pulls from when working on Branch+Barrel jewelry. From sketching out her original ideas, to hiking and exploring to find the perfect piece of naturally fallen wood, or the ideal Oak barrel stave, Lauras vision is the driving force the entire way. Beyond the design phase Laura is also no stranger to gearing up and getting dirty in the pursuit of her creative goals. She will often be found covered in sawdust in the wood shop cutting, shaping and refining each piece, or mixing up a fresh batch of striking, hand-tinted resins or hammering away forging the metal that frames each finished piece. She is in her element designing, creating and making.
Toby on the other hand is responsible for the other half of the business, the sales, marketing, customer service, and his favorite aspect, the photography. Originally from Dublin Ireland, he has been lucky enough to live and work in a wide variety of countries and continents. An outdoorsman at heart, his background is a combination of photography, outdoor adventure guiding, and various aspect of the tourism industry. Since joining Branch+Barrel Toby’s attention has been focused on supporting Lauras artistic vision and sharing her creations with the world. On any given day Toby could be found driving throughout the country meeting new retail partners, setting up a booth at an art show or festival to meet our customers and share our story, answering emails and calls, offering opinions on new designs, or with a camera in his hand, photographing our jewelry for catalogs, website and social media. During the moments he is not working on Branch+Barrel, Toby is busy running his own photography business, T. Nolan Imagery.