Bench jobs in Portland or California?

Greetings, all.

I’ve recently graduated with a shiny, new MFA. Yay! Which of course
means that I’m also looking for a job. One area I’m especially
interested in bench work- particularly in the Portland, OR area, but
I’m open to just about anywhere on the West Coast, particularly LA &
Chico, California.

(Since there’s no real opportunities for metalsmiths in my hometown
& no way in any circle of Hell that I was going to stay in the flat,
frozen tundra that is North Dakota, I basically picked a city that I
wanted to live in. And then I found out how many friends I have on
the West Coast & they all seem to want me to move to their city.).
I’m also interested in working in a prop shop or stop-motion
animation house, as those jobs would also involve making small,
highly detailed objects.

I know some of you aren’t exactly keen on hiring art grads for bench
work, but I also know that others are happy to have someone with some
experience in working with jewelry fabrication.

Anyways, if anyone is hiring or could point me towards some people
are, feel free to contact me off-list.


Unemployed Metalsmith, Artist, & Chaos Magnet

Unemployed Metalsmith, Artist, & Chaos Magnet 

Might want to rethink that sig line, as you’re looking for a job.
But thanks for the warning, I suppose.


Fair point, but that wasn’t exactly a professional letter, either (My
assumption is that someone would e-mail, saying they were looking, at
which point I would then submit a cover letter, resume/cv, portfolio,
etc.). The “chaos magnet” thing is my off-beat, self-depreciating
humor. Weird things just seem to happen to me. Not catastrophic for
the most part, just really odd. Like Jehovah’s Witnesses showing up
at a store I worked at or getting trapped in my bathroom the day of a
job interview because the mechanism inside the door handle breaks.
(Which makes for a really hilarious story, at least.Come to think of
it, the JWs-in-the-record-store-with-the-Catholic-priest-and-the-Pagan is a
pretty funny story, too). I will say it’s given me the ability to
deal with a wide variety of situations from angry customers to
equipment melt-downs calmly, rationally, without panicking, &
frequently with good humor, as well as taught me to be very
flexible. It’s a skill that any employer would value highly, I should
think. Many of my past employers have-- & it certainly came in handy
when I was teaching, especially when my students accidentally set the
soldering tweezers on fire, as at least one managed to do every
semester. :smiley:

However, given some of the discussions on this list, I’m fairly
certain that the really scary word to most people on this list is
"Artist". Wait, was that the one that worried you? :wink:

Metalsmith, Artist, Bookworm

Metalsmith, Artist, Bookworm,

In the commercial jewelry businesses, time is money and if you also
need to be trained, that alone is probably more “scary” a turnoff in
your hiring, than you floating that your’ an “artist”…

So, the questions ares: what can you actually do, and do well? Also,
what sort of jewelry business model do you envision working best
with whatever skills you presently have. you know,…so you can be a
profitable employee on a daily basis, desrving of a decent
wage(benefits, etc…)?