Vagabond Silver is a jewelry business owned by artist Mat Garriott. Garriott creates each of his one-of-a-kind pieces by hand, using materials found both locally and from around the world.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Mat Garriott, and I am from Bend Oregon.
What is your background?
I grew up in Bend, but I have also lived in Montana twice.
What is the name of your business and what do you specialize in?
Vagabond Silver, and I make silver jewelry by hand using only simple hand tools.
When did you start your business?
I started my business in May of 2015.
What led you to start your own business?
I was a manager for a large corporation and was diagnosed with cancer. I knew I needed a change in my life and career. One day after coming home from chemotherapy, I found a book online about making jewelry. I read the book and was hooked. I had always admired old craftsman who made items without the use of machines and using only simple hand tools, so that is what I decided to do. No power tools are used in the making any of my pieces.
How does living in Oregon influence your business?
There are a lot of beautiful places to visit and explore in Oregon. There are also many beautiful stones in Oregon that can be used for jewelry such as Sunstones, Jasper, Agates and Obsidian.
What is unique about Vagabond Silver?
I only use simple hand tools when making my jewelry, no power tools at all. This adds variation from piece to piece that I make.
What is your favorite thing about owning your own business?
I get to be creative and challenged. I am entirely self-taught and this can be a blessing and a curse. Everyday I get to do what I want. If I want to try and develop a new style or piece I can. In being self-taught, I can experiment with styles that work for me and I am not limited to a certain way someone else is teaching me. But, when I run into a challenge, I don’t know how to handle it, and it can take me a while to find a way to make a process work well. But, again this allows me to learn and I never know what direction my new knowledge may take me.
How long have you been involved in the farmer’s market?
This is my first season working with the Farmer’s Market.
What is your favorite thing about the farmer’s market?
I like meeting new people who are interested in my work. My process is different than other craftsmen, so I like to be able to explain to people in person what I do and why. Jewelry buying is personal and most people like to see and touch a piece close up before buying.
Where can you be found online?
My website is www.vagabondsilver.com. You can also find me on Instagram (@vagabondsilver) and Facebook (Vagabond Silver).