You can find Oregon Jewelry Works at their PSM booth number 326 under the plinth.
How did you get started?
We are a family business that has been making jewelry in Oregon since 1972. Our parents, Marti and Gary, made jewelry while raising four kids, selling at Saturday Market, arts and crafts festivals, and playing in their jazz band. While Marti is no longer with us and Gary has taken a step back, but not out of the jewelry business, Brooke and I are happy to carry on the tradition of making jewelry and selling at the Portland Saturday Market. We grew up at the market. We continued working in the family studio during high school and college, improving our skills and selling at markets and arts festivals.
Where do you draw influence from?
We make our ornaments and some of our jewelry with outdoor scenes inspired by our beautiful Northwest surroundings. Oregon provides lots of inspiration with mountains, beaches, and forests. Brooke, Gary, and I all enjoy getting outside on bicycles. With Gary being 80 now, he rides his trike most days, while Brooke and I enjoy mountain biking and dabble in cycle touring. My daughter, Niya, joined the Corvallis mountain bike race team and I have been helping out as one of the coaches. We share our enthusiasm for cycling with our customers in our bike-themed jewelry and ornaments.
For you, what is the core of PSM?
Portland Saturday Market is an established, respected, close-knit community, and a great attraction for the city of Portland. The city of Portland has honored the significance of Portland Saturday Market as an institution by building the covered outdoor structure that now hosts our market along the waterfront. Our family was one of the first vendors at the Portland Saturday Market, and also a founding member of the Eugene and Salem Saturday Markets. Although every market has its unique atmosphere, each market's core is its vendors, staff, and customers connecting as a community.
How would you describe the difference between “arts” and “crafts”?
While both Brooke and I have degrees from the University of Oregon in History rather than Fine Art, I think the difference between arts and crafts is blurred. We hand-make all our jewelry and come up with new ideas all of the time. Some people see it as art and others as a craft. Our family has sold our jewelry at PSM for almost fifty years. We grew up here. We find it satisfying to make jewelry and see the customer enjoy it.
What’s your favorite thing in the world right now? What is the last book you read?
The last book I finished was “The Secret Race” about Tour de France racer Taylor Hamilton. Now I am onto Sci-Fi with the second book in the series the Expanse. My favorite thing in the world right now is fresh air, spring flowers, and long bike rides.
How long have you sold your wares at PSM? What encouraged you to apply/ keeps you vending with us now?
We both grew up in the family business. While lots of kids barely know what their parents do for a living, daycare for us was running around the Portland Saturday Market and napping under the booth tables. We were unwittingly trained to be jewelers by learning to hammer rings, bend wire, make sales, and use a torch along with all the other aspects of making a living selling jewelry. We have enjoyed seeing the Portland Saturday Market grow and change over the years. We appreciate that Portlanders and tourists show up every weekend to support the Saturday Market.