Looking for a JOB Feed

I Love the Smell of Dykem in the Morning

Recently, I took on a new role of intensive robot making to assist my son in the assembly of his Gemini Battlebots. We worked at the fabrication space of the prototyping firm, Radicand.

My first observation was that the scale of everything was ten times larger than my usual metal working experience.
 We are talking about 1/2 inch thick aluminum, 24" x 24" large plates of steel, and titanium.

Would my fine metalworking skills translate into another realm? 

Harriete's-tool box.pgIn a rush to squeeze this sprint assembly into my busy life, I filled a shoe box with my favorite tools. Dykem, jeweler's saw, saw blades, cut-off discs with mandrels, Opti-visor, and more.... including my own task lighting. 

Was I going to be embarrassed taking my jewelry and sculpture skills into the domain of mechanical engineers (all men) and CAD/CAM engineering?   

It really does seen to be a domain of men.  Another early observation started two weeks ago looking for local water jet cutting and welding services.  Whether calling or visiting in person, there seems to be no women in any machine shop or welding establishment. In a time when women are entering every field (including combat), metal fabrication seems to be a male dominated sphere.  The engineering prototyping world also included only men. Surely there must be women in the metal fabrication field and geek world, but I didn't see any.

Harriete's-dykemWould my hand crafting skills in tin and silver repair translate into this "real world" scale? My favorite tool for layout is Dykem. Fortunately,  I brought mine from my studio. The fabrication space at the shop didn't have their own. Not every mother can bring their own bottle of Dykem. I love the smell of Dykem in the morning.

IMG_20160413_154530630Just in case you don't know: Dykem is a solvent based layout die for marking metal. It provides a clear background to mark or scribe lines and it is so much easier to see against shiny metal. I learned to use my son's digital calipers, and in no time I am reading CAD drawings and marking large metal blocks as precisely as a person can at 1/100th of an inch.

Marking metal for drilling holes was my first job. I wasn't drilling one or two holes but 60 holes at a time.  And then continued drilling for ten hours non-stop. I am not exaggerating. 


Then, I was drilling holes with larger drills through 2 thick layers of super strong aluminum plates. These were high technology materials that weighed around 20 pounds or more.  It was heavy to hold in the correct position while pulling down on the drill press. I had no time to stop. It is good I've worked out lifting weights at the gym.

Then came countersinking holes.  Eventually, I learned that if I was more aggressive with the countersink it worked much better. 


It was really hard work holding the plates up with one hand, and pulling the drill bit down with the other. 

Next, I learned to tap every hole with a drill. Every skill was scary at first, but I was totally in my element.

My skills and metal work precision were right on target. I got better very fast. Complicated layouts, drilling, and tapping were well within my skill set. This was an empowering experience. 

Would you like to see more fabrication shots of the Gemini Battlebots? Click here.  If you're interested . . . there are a lot more photos coming.

I have more observations about the intersection of CAD/CAM and handmade. More posts soon...when I recover...but here is something you might want to know.

Jewelers and metalsmiths can and should take their skills and tools to the design and prototyping field.  I know several metalsmiths with art school skills and education and they have told me what they do in prototyping, and it sounded really interesting. They have fascinating projects and make a great living. They can still make their own work without the starving artist mentality.

This was my first personal experience within the design and prototyping field. To the many jewelry and metalsmiths reading this blog, there is an alternative to the struggle of making money solely in "crafts" where a viable living is frustrated by a highly competitive market with a shrinking audience.  Learn CAD software and take your design sensibilities and technical skills where it is needed and appreciated in a growing field.

More observations coming soon.


 *The title of this post "I Love the Smell of Dykem in the Morning" was inspired by the famous quote :  "I Love the Smell of Napalm in the Morning" from the movie Apocalypse Now. It was spoken by the character Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore as played by actor Robert Duvall. He played a super tough, fearless character in the movie.

This post was updated on December 11th, 2021.

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 10 A Dream Job

What is your dream job?

Have you every thought about that?

Dream JOB comes into focus Research your field or media. Who would you want to work for?
Still in school,  just graduated from art school, emerging artists? What are your long term goals?

Is your future with production, one of a kind, digital technology?  ...or some other media?

Have you considered working for free? Not necessarily long term, but a day or two per week at a dream job....as an intern to gain experience? I've had several interns from a local college, and the super irony was that they paid the school for credit.  They could have contacted me directly, it would have cost them less, and they would have had the same experience.  

For recent graduates, the reality is harsh. The art craft market is not exactly flourishing. Even established artists or businesses may be reluctant to hire help in a slow economy.

But that doesn't mean that you can't work to gain experience.  Consider contacting people personally about a job -- especially if you can make a valuable contribution to the studio. 

Skill diversity is the key to success. I am betting that if you could offer media specific skills and working knowledge of Photoshop, Dreamweaver and CAD to help a business gain more visibility online, they would take you up on the spot. 

VOLUNTER or get you Dream job in action.Businesses these days need these skills desperately and many lack the background to develop an online presence. How are your skills with social media, Twitter, Tumbler and Instagram? This could be of invaluable assistance.



Do you know Dreamweaver or WordPress? Could you work on their website? Your skills can give a jump instead of hiring a media firm. 

If you have some basic skills in accounting or working with Excel, they may need a versatile book keeper.

If you know how to edit video, you could offer to make a video about their studio or business or skill.

This range of job skills is not just my fantasy . . . I saw a local jewelry store advertising for one person with ALL of the skills listed above and more.

Here are "9 great questions you can use or make your own on your next job interview."

Looking for your Dream Job


An intern's response about his internship experience.

Internships: Who benefits from this experience?

Intern or Employee? Legal issues

Looking for a JOB - Step 9 Volunteer

Looking for a JOB - Step 8 - Join Organizations, Mentoring & Network

Looking for a JOB - Step 7 - Walk In

Looking for a JOB - Step 6 OLD FASHIONED PAPER Produces Amazing Results

Looking for a JOB - Step 5 CUSTOMIZE Your Resume

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 4: Innovative Resume

Looking for a Job - Step 3 Work on Your Resume

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 2: Facebook Privacy, Join LinkedIN

LOOKING for a JOB - The Year After School Step 1: Take a digital class.

Looking for a JOB - Step 9 Volunteer

Life-Green-walk-in7.3.13VOLUNTERCU.Volunteering is a fabulous way to accelerate your professional goals.  WHAT?

Yes, volunteering is a great way to gain visibility, learn new skills, get to know other skilled people and professionals in your field, and  . . . they will get to know you. 

All of this can be happening while you make a contribution to organizations in your media.

Volunteer to Network and get a jobThis works at every level and in all fields.
Do you want to get to know other artists? Volunteer.

Do you want to get to know the leading professionals in your field? Offer your help. Volunteer.

Feel uncomfortable with networking? Volunteer. It is a great way to survive being shy when you have a job to do.

Want to learn more about organizing an event?
Help out. Volunteer.

Learn a new skill? Volunteer 

Be the change you want to see. Volunteer.

You've got the idea. Volunteer. Volunteer. Volunteer.

Of course, all of this means working without cash compensation. Perhaps at a low level. But learning is your primary reward and working your way up the ladder of success is your first lesson.  The return on your investment will be invaluable.

Work hard. Listen. Do what you can do . . . then ask for another job.

Sparkle and shine with enthusiasm and sweat. Your hard work will be remembered. Volunteering can be a way to get experience and ultimately a job.

P.S. Volunteer Opportunity below...

Volunteer Network Mentor join organizations to get a job.

San Francisco Metal Arts Guild needs a Social Media Intern

  • Want to learn more about what is happening in the local craft/jewelry community, and be introduced to a network of like-minded makers?
  • Do you find yourself drawn to posting on Facebook and Pinterest?
  • Are you a quick learner on the computer and enjoy expanding your digital know-how?
  • Polish your online skills as MAG's Social Media Intern! Receive a free Metal Arts Guild membership in exchange for volunteering. This is not a Board Member Position, so you don't even have to change out of your comfy pants to get involved!

Looking for a JOB - Step 8 - Join Organizations, Mentoring & Network

Looking for a JOB - Step 7 - Walk In

Looking for a JOB - Step 6 OLD FASHIONED PAPER Produces Amazing Results

Looking for a JOB - Step 5 CUSTOMIZE Your Resume

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 4: Innovative Resume

Looking for a Job - Step 3 Work on Your Resume

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 2: Facebook Privacy, Join LinkedIN

LOOKING for a JOB - The Year After School Step 1: Take a digital class.

Looking for a JOB - Step 8 - Join Organizations, Mentoring & Network

Looking for a job is a full time job -- plus overtime. Cold contacting local businesses is really ... uhhh ... character building.  So mix it up a little.

JoinJoin any and all craft and professional organizations to network and gain access to job boards and job listings.

Look at organizations related to your field.  Join at both the local and national levels that represent your field. I think students and others new to the field think that joining a professional organization is premature in their career. Wrong! Joining organizations will connect you to the job boards, mentoring and networking you need.

ROAD-2-SuccessSome organizations may have opportunities for students or emerging artists. I know that SNAG is organizing a program called "Road2Success".  "Road2Success will connect experienced SNAG members in our field with upcoming and mid-career talent. The focus of this program is on business and career skills. Through SNAG you will connect to the right people who can answer your questions about entrepreneurship and business and career development in a variety of industry sectors." "All SNAG members will be eligible to participate, but this pilot program will be limited to 200 on a first-come, first-served basis."

This is not the only mentoring program that I've discovered recently. For example, Michele Plante at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is organizing a mentoring program for their alumni. So it makes me wonder, have you contacted your alumni office? Do they have a professional development, alumni program or mentoring program you can tap into?

SNAG also has what they call SPRINGBOARD that includes employment listings in addition to internships, residencies, call for entries, workshops and more.  

NetworkCrafthaus also has a "Job Listings" which also goes out in its weekly job listing. You do need to be a member to access the information, but the annual dues are modest, however, this is a juried site. Great photos are your key to success here. Network, comment, join discussions.

Online forums like Orchid/Ganoskin may also have job listings, or you could network as you become more familiar with the discussions. Reach out with a personal email.

Our local San Francisco Metal Arts Guild frequently has jobs posted in the newsletter. This is how I found several  people that worked for me in my studio over the years.

Life-Green-walk-in6.24.13.72 cu
These are just a few examples from the metals community,
but every media has similar possibilities. I also noticed that LinkedIN sends a list of jobs related to your contacts and job skills every week in an email. Just another way to search for jobs.

Joining local, national and online organizations for your field or media will put you in contact with a variety of resources. This is where your pennies and dollars need to be wisely spent. JOIN. You will also find many new friends of all ages.
Life-Green-walk-in6.26.13.72 copy


Looking for a JOB - Step 7 - Walk In

Looking for a JOB - Step 6 OLD FASHIONED PAPER Produces Amazing Results

Looking for a JOB - Step 5 CUSTOMIZE Your Resume

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 4: Innovative Resume

Looking for a Job - Step 3 Work on Your Resume

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 2: Facebook Privacy, Join LinkedIN

LOOKING for a JOB - The Year After School Step 1: Take a digital class.

Looking for a JOB - Step 7 - Walk In

WalkiNWhile looking for a job.....and a place to post your paper sign....there is something amazing in the age of the internet with the super personal one-on-one approach....walk in.  Yes, I found all of my jobs in the past walking into jewelry stores and a plating firm. I walked in and inquired whether they were looking for a jeweler or silversmith. Every time, I got a job.

It was the hardest thing I ever did.

Get dressed up in your job prospecting clothes.  Bring examples of your art or craft with you. Sure....bring images on a laptop, but there is no substitute for one or two real life examples.

Do you understand that in the age of the internet "walking in" makes your extraordinary?  A person  or even a personal note is remarkable.

In my case, I had a few examples of my jewelry and metalwork (ready to show) and a one page resume and a card. I walked in, introduced myself, and said I was looking for a job. I had work ready to show them.

It's a little old fashioned but that is what I did. AND IT WORKED.

Do you have a dream job?

Who or where do you want to work?

Get dressed up and get ready to go.

If this is really hard for you to do....take a friend with you...but the friend has to wait in the car....they can not come in with you.

Another option is to go to every place that offers classes in your medium.  Arriving in person, walking in and introducing yourself to the director or teacher will have more traction than just mailing in a resume, but still... be prepared with your resume. (Who knows?  The teacher may be looking for help in their studio.)

Even in the age of the internet when anyone and everyone can be your virtual "friend", it is amazing that a real live personal approach can be a real winner.


Looking for a JOB - Step 6 OLD FASHIONED PAPER Produces Amazing Results

Time for a radical and a most effective approach to finding a job -- plain old fashioned paper.

Make an 8.5” x 11”  piece of paper poster. Eye catching, attractive, and simple. Show it to friends and family for review.


Tech Shop Hire a Designer sign-Aryn Shelander
Sign created by Aryn Shelander.


  • Use a few eye catching images or text that relates to your job search, job skills or past projects.
  • List your job skills.
  • Include contact information including name, phone and email. Get a separate email for this if you are concerned about where you are posting this paper "sign."
  • Keep it simple and eye catching.
  • Photo paper makes a great "poster" with a quality finish.


Post your poster at art centers, coffee shops, craft stores, any and all places that you frequent in your area.

For example, if there is a Tech Shop in your area post it on the bulletin board. This is how both of my children found jobs! Seriously, despite all their social media skills, they found jobs with 8.5” x 11” pieces of paper on bulletin boards. I suggested it to a friend of theirs….he also got a job. This low tech method really works.

Life-Blue-Learn-IT-Game726.20.13 cu


Looking for a JOB - Step 5 CUSTOMIZE Your Resume

One-size resume does not fit all. No matter what level of your career, it is best to adjust your resume for each audience.  You don't have to start from scratch every time, but slight modifications to your resume are worth some attention to the details or key highlights.

As a professional artist, you will constantly improve and update. 

Customize-Your-ResumeFor the job search, CUSTOMIZE YOUR RESUME...
Remember the previous post about the SlideShare resume where the examples customized his resume presentation for each prospective job?  Have two or three main versions and tweak them here and there. One might feature particular skills or professional opportunities, or delete irrelevant content. Review your resume and adapt it to maximize relevance to that particular job.

Include keywords from the job posting in your resume if possible. Resumes online and submitted electronically are scanned for keywords (usually not a real person).

Life-Blue-Learn-IT-Game726.18.13cu For the job search, look for job boards....
Look at companies that you want to work for in the future. Most larger companies have pages dedicated to employment positions they want to fill.

Bookmark the job pages so you can check them every morning.

Collect bookmarks to job board.

While I think that online job boards are the longest of long shots for getting a job....it is one possible approach. But you never know.  My daughter got a job through a recruiter looking at a job board where she had posted her resume.



LOOKING for a JOB - Step 4: Innovative Resume

Looking for a Job - Step 3 Work on Your Resume

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 2: Facebook Privacy, Join LinkedIN

LOOKING for a JOB - The Year After School Step 1: Take a digital class.


LOOKING for a JOB - Step 4: Innovative Resume

InnovativeRESUMEConsider creating an innovative resume "live on line" with Prezi or SlideShare for an eye catching and job catching approach. This might work for a graduate school application, residency application, internship, apprenticeship, or even as a studio assistant at a teaching program. It should reflect your creativity, innovation, digital skills, and willingness to try new technologies effectively.


Here are two eye catching examples.
A Prezi resume made by my daughter. Yes, she did get a job. No I didn't help her with this, but I definitely need to learn how to do Prezi, too.



Here is a sample resume on SlideShare.




LOOKING for a JOB - The Year After School Step 1: Take a digital class.

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 2: Facebook Privacy, Join LinkedIN

Looking for a Job - Step 3 Work on Your Resume

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 3 WORK on Your RESUME

Work on your resume. That sounds so simple, but it takes some time and repeated reviews. Ask your friends and parents to proof read and critique each edit. Improve, edit, improve, edit, improve.

ResumeBadgeThis is true for seasoned professionals, too.
Your resume is the foundation for grant applications, social network profiles, and opportunities. It never fails that the request for your resume happens on the busiest days. Be prepared!!!!!!!!!!!
  ResumeOne "speling eror" on your resume raises a red flag about your abilities and attention to detail; two errors and your job prospects diminish considerably. Obviously, if you don't care what your own resume looks like, employers will think this sloppy attitude will carry over to your job performance. You won't get hired.


Make sure your resume includes the keywords for the job you are looking to find.
Posted on a job board or sent to a online job posting, it will most likely be scanned electronically for a keyword search. Use the "lingo" for your field and future job.

Use the free resume websites that are available online for formatting. Many fields have customary styles that do not translate to other media.

Your resume should be no more than one page.
Start on this today.
Take a couple of days to keep reviewing and improving.

Consider adding the fact that you are taking a digital skills class to your resume. Taking a class will look really good. Sorry to say, but do not include "workshops" on your resume. It looks like filler.



Resume - Ready, Set, Go!

Ingredients for success - your resume.

Posted Job Opening - What a Successful Response looks like!

Resumes - How much is too much info?



LOOKING for a JOB - Step 2: Facebook Privacy, Join LinkedIN


If you are looking for a job, internship, residency, applying for graduate school,. . . clean up your Facebook profile immediately. If you want to save those photos of you drinking, hanging out with friends, Conga line dancing, etc. or photos of destination evenings, cats, or poodle pictures -- then change your privacy setting on every photo to Private.

This isn't just the advice of a mother or mentor, a recent article in Business Week came out after my post...so I added it here for further validation.
The article says,"Yet despite all the advice and warnings to be cautious with social media, job applicants continue to get burned by their online profiles." 

Give-and-Take A Revolutionary Approach to SuccessHere is another quote, this time from the book Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant. The quote is from Howard Lee, the former head of South China at Groupon and "one of a growing number of people who use social media to catch takers."

"Nowadays, I don't need to call in to a company to find out about someone's reputation. Everyone is incredibly connected. Once they make it past the technical rounds, I check their LinkedIn or Facebook. Sometimes we have mutual friends, or went to the same school, or the people on my team will have a link to them." Lee explains, "You can understand someone's reputation at a peer level pretty quickly."

Any photo that reveals less than professional behavior, "TMI" , too much skin, drinking, etc. has got to go, go, go. NOW. Immediately.

Edit your profile picture to an interesting appearance of a professional character. Consider that everything may be viewed by your potential employer whether you want them to or not.

Edit your personal information to represent a more professional identity with current information. Consider including your internship experience and volunteer work.

Life-Blue-Learn-IT-Game726.11.14CUNEXT: Join LinkedIn. Use the free option. Don't spend one penny. Construct your professional profile. ADD your work experience,  internship experience and volunteer work. Make every part time job or educational experience sound good. Even unrelated job experience shows responsibility. For example: A lifeguard job shows responsibility and reliability, etc.

Did you double check your spelling?

BTW -- Did you find a digital class yet?
If you don't have a job, take two classes.

Books listed on blog are often affiliate links. Clicking on the link or purchasing a book may provide this blog with revenue to support this information.


LOOKING for a JOB - The Year After School Step 1: Take a digital class.

If you just graduated from college, and your local community college is starting it's summer session . . . 

Take a class especially a class in digital skills.  EVERY employer wants new employees to know the latest in digital skills.

Life-Blue-Learn-IT-Game726.11.13 copy

If there is no community college near you, take an online class or find a free class. Don't wait. Your future employer will be impressed that you just graduated but you are learning new skills.

Every EMPLOYER out there will be looking for a person to be well versed in current technologies. They want and need people to do the things they can't do themselves because they haven't had time to learn. A diversity of skill sets in a tough economy makes you a more appealing candidate for employment. Small business will want help with their websites, social media presences and more. This opens the door for opportunity and may give you that slight competitive edge.

Life-Blue-Learn-IT-Game726.11.13 copyCUWhat are YOUR digital skills? This is what a prospective employer will want to know for every job.  Every new job out there seems to leverage some digital skills. If you aren't capable to proficient in several software applications related to your field, learn them now. Become more versatile or become an expert.

Do you know more than one of these applications?  CAD, Solid Works, Inventor, Auto Cad, Rhino, T-Splines, Z- Brush, PhotoShop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, In Design, WordPress,Web Design, HTML, CSS, accounting, Excel, PowerPoint, and many others.

I can hear the excuses now. You don't need to take a digital class because you want to work in the studio of a jeweler, sculptor, or artist. Well, guess what? Every single job skill you bring with you is a plus.

I wouldn't even consider hiring a person these days without multiple digital skills in Dreamweaver, PhotoShop, Dreamweaver, video editing and a CAD program. That is my minimum, my voice of experience, and what I hear from local employers. This is the future.

P.S.Check out Lynda.com for online digital software class. I have used them a lot. You can work at your own pace, and on your own schedule, 24 hours a day. They offer a free trial which is how I started so many years ago. lynda.com online training tutorials

lynda.com online training tutorials
These are affiliate links.

PPS. Taking a workshop is not the same as taking a class. It isn't the same on your resume either. And in the current economy, I am specifically recommending a digital skill learning a software program.

LOOKING for a JOB - The Year After School

Recently, I have heard from a number of young people looking for a job.  They are all recent graduates. It sounds like a familiar story as my own children both recently graduated from college. They were also looking for jobs and found them!


So with this issue in mind,
I thought I'd run a series of short posts with my recommendations, tips, and advice. The posts will be short and frequent. Finding a job is a situation that is difficult to overwhelming....even in the best of circumstances.

First clarification before I begin is that I think there are two issues.  

1)Looking for a job.

2) The first year after college.


The topics do get mixed up. 
After four or more years of college students graduate with the anticipation of finding a job and simultaneously a direction for life,  but with the tough economy the mythical "yellow brick road" clearly dictating a direction isn't clear.

Am I kidding? I think it is more like hiking through the wilderness and there are absolutely no trail markers at all.


It doesn't help that your education actually doesn't provide job skills. Looking at this realistically, no matter what your major, or interests, very few students graduate with  marketable skills or much work experience. Art students,  engineers, or cognitive science degree...?  All you really have for sure is youth, inexperience and character.

Are you a hard worker? Time to prove it. Finding a job is hard work perhaps the hardest job you will ever have.  The first year after college is difficult. Developing a direction for life is a process, but it helps to get started.

Each day the post will take a topic
and create some focus for finding a job & transitioning in the first year after school to a direction. 

Here is a list which I will expand on in future posts.

  • Social media
  • Web presence
  • Resume
  • Finding a job the high tech
  • Finding a job low tech (my favorite since I have ample evidence it works.)
  • Networking old and new
  • Building skill sets that employers want.
  • Interviews.
  • Money
  • Mentors
  • Much and more...

What are you questions?

Share the topics you are looking for in the comments or write to me directly.

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