When Noah Briel and Lester Bivens shake your hand, you know they use their hands for a living. They both offer a firm handshake and their hands are rough to the touch.
Noah started Artisan Trellis because he loved architecture, gardening and traveling. The traveling comes into play getting his work delivered around the country. "We make something that looks good for the plant as opposed to what fits in the UPS box," he says. They use special delivery trucks to get the art to the right place.
His designs are simple, wonderful and incredibly affordable. These hand made creations start as a straight pieces of solid steel and are worked into shape to form a variety of wonderful rustic garden accents.
Noah has a display at the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show and when I saw his work, it stopped me in my tracks. One of the most wonderful things about being a show like this is meeting people like Noah and Lester. There's a lot of cools stuff to see here, but there's something about this work which stands out.
In 1994, he was one of the first artists to work in rust, he says. The steel isn't painted, it's left to weather. He's had pieces along the coast of California which are unfazed by the salt spray.
Standing under one a giant trellis standing next to Lester, he said with a laugh,"We're the real men of topiary." But added, "that might be an oxymoron."
I have a feeling he'll be bringing his work to a nursery in Pittsburgh soon.