Meet the Makers: Tree Trunk Arts

A Detroit metalsmith and jewelry designer is transforming greenery into accessories

Whether she’s on an urban adventure, taking her dog for a walk, or going for a hike, Collyn DeBano is constantly looking toward nature to inspire Tree Trunk Arts jewelry.

DeBano, who started the brand in 2009 after studying jewelry and metalsmithing at Grand Valley State University, gathers things like twigs and leaves and uses a casting process to preserve her findings in solid silver or bronze. She says each piece is one-of-a-kind, and the brand’s twig bracelets, succulent rings, and ash seed earrings are particularly popular.

“It’s not something that just sits on the table or hangs on the wall. You go out in the world in [the jewelry],” says DeBano, who works out of her Detroit home. “I think that’s a really amazing way to change how we look at the natural world around us and express ourselves.”

Tree Trunk Arts can be found at 50 shops in Canada and the U.S., including metro Detroit’s City Bird, Poesy Gallery, and Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center. The brand is also a mainstay at art fairs across the state of Michigan, so look out for DeBano’s booth when you make your rounds this season.

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