Of a crafty sort. . .

Ok, so here's whats up. Now is the time of year that college students should start looking for the ideal summer job. With this in mind I need a bit of help brainstorming locations for my "Perfect Summer Job". I figured that since you all are spread across the country you might be able to come up with a few more ideas than I can.
1- As I think I've mentioned before I am a crafts student. I would love to be able to find a job somewhere where I'd be able to work on my skills and learn new ones while getting my feet wet working in teh craft industry. So far I have one (In my opinion) marketable skill and the beginnings of a second. The developed skill I have is wire-working/jewelry making. I've been doing this for years now (7 I think).
The developing skill is glassblowing. I am currently taking Intro to Glass working, which includes blowing (I can't help but chuckle a little when my instructor is explaining the methods and equipment used in glass blowing *tee-hee*) casting and kiln-form glass. As of right this second I am just just starting to learn this skill but would love to find a job during the summer so I can keep on top of what I've learned so I don't forget about it (I'm considering taking the more advanced glass working classes as well).
What I'm getting at with this first bit is- do any of you folks know of a place that would hire in craftsfolk for a summer gig? I'm thinking of something along the lines of Cedar Point or other various amusement/historical park deals but really don't know of many other than Cedar Point (but I don't think they'd have me back- but that's another story). Any suggestions for this would be greatly welcomed.
2- I cook. I've been cooking for roughly three years and would love to take this skill on the road. What I would like to do would be to get a full time summer job cooking out-of-state(Ohio) so I can do a bit of traveling and continue to gain cooking experience as I am planing on this skill to be my bread and butter once I'm out of college.
I've already applied to, and heard back from Sequoia Nat'l Park (which reminds me I should probably call them back soon. What's the time difference between Ohio and the west coast?) but would like to expand my options so once again if anyone knows of any place that is hiring cooks (or servers- I'd like to learn this particular part of food service as well) for a summer please let me know. Thanks much in advance ^-^

The Which's picture


Sometimes craft stores offer classes. Michael's, JoAnn Fabric, etc. You should look to see if any of those places need teachers!

Davik's picture


The west coast is 3 hours behind us for time zones Blum 3 If you're looking for jobs doing glass blowing my first advice would be to go ask among the head shops in the area. Outside of that, I'm sure general cooking jobs along the lines of prep cook aren't that hard to find if you have some experience. Hell, if you find something like that in the Lansing area it's looking like I'll even be looking for a renter for my spare bedroom this summer, and I've got a professionally stocked kitchen Blum 3

Brezelfrau's picture

The glass found in most head shops is from lamp working, which is a similar but different set of skills from traditional blowing. I'm not sure which type of class the original author is taking, but it sounded like a hot shop class, not a bench top one... I guess you could make bongs, but that's actually a pretty advanced shape for glassblowing (a pulled neck vase--ugh, such a head ache), so it would be hard for a beginner to make anything that a shop could sell. I'm not trying to poo-poo your glass skills, I've just taken slightly under 2 years of glass classes, so I have first hand experience in how long it takes to make stuff of the quality most head shops sell. Now, smaller glass pipes and water pipes are a different story, but I'm not sure a head shop would be able to provide you with a lampworking setup. I know the head shops in my area (the SF Bay area) get most of their glass from local artists who have their own setup.

As far as cooking jobs go, I was going to suggest applying to national parks, but it looks like you've already contacted some. One other place to check out might be the Drakesbad Guest Ranch in Lassen National Park. (http://www.drakesbad.com/jobs/index.php) Lassen is located in N. California, approximately due east of Redding, CA. The park could be thought of as a mini-Yellowstone, as it's chock full of geothermal features and even contains an active volcano that erupted in 1914! (Hee, my geology-nerd colors shine through..) The ranch itself is situated in a beautiful valley on the southeastern side of the park. You have to really like the outdoors if you want to spend the summer there, as the park is very much in the middle of nowhere. It's actually known as the "lonliest national park." They hire people for cooking, waitstaff, cleaning, and wrangling, although the last time I was there, people were switching between different jobs. It's an amazing place, and they always seem to be a little short-staffed, so if you felt like applying, I'm sure it wouldn't be too late.

Good luck!

ereuyi's picture

The Ozark Folk Center has opportunities to volunteer or do an apprenticeship (their website mentions getting college credit for this), but it doesn't look like they have paid positions...

MsGamgee's picture


It's a little boring, but it pays well: I work at a Parks and Recreation Association, where I do full-time office work all summer. Mostly stationary and inside, but every couple of weeks we have an event that requires running around and doing stuff outside. I mean, I'd love to do something fun and interesting that applied to my personal strengths, but at this time of my life and in this economy, I am MORE than happy to just plug away at a less-than-dream job so I can save up for, um, life.

kawaiikune's picture


but a type of job. I was wondering if you had looked at all at historical recreation sites. Somewhere like Colonial Williamsburg in VA or Sturbridge Village in MA. I'm wondering if they would have something for someone who does wireworking and glass-blowing. I'm not sure what time period people started doing that in, but I'm betting they would have something crafty for you to do. Even a museum might have something. You could do stuff like that, as well as design crafts for kids, etc.

Capriox's picture


Check out Civil War era re-enactment/historical sites, too.

Do your craft instructors have any recommendations? I'd ask them for ideas and/or referrals, if you haven't already. There's probably a glassblower's guild or union or association somewhere that might have suggestions on their sites or someone in their membership you can contact for help/ideas.

girlthing's picture


on campus here there's a fellow who's job it is to use glass blowing techniques to create all of the beakers and tubes and so on for the lab classrooms. maybe there'd be some opportunity there? it might be worth inquiring into a few universities in states you are interested in just to see if it's a possibility. I know it's not exactly crafty, but I find it's important to learn precision as an anchor for more creative and whimsical things.

MissCrys's picture

You aren't at the University of Arizona, by chance, are you?

Davik's picture


I think this is actually fairly common at any of the larger technical schools; I know we've got a glass shop here at Michigan State (my lab uses it for all our more obscure glass ware needs).

Laureril's picture


University of Texas has a glassblowing shop in the Chem building. I'm fairly sure that most of the unusual glassware (and maybe even some of the normal stuff) is made on-site. Certainly saves shipping costs!

TheFerret's picture


Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO

Old Cowtown Museum: Wichita, KS
good luck finding a PAID position there, though. On the other hand, I'm always offering free room for anybody willing to be my house-slave }:) and a cook would be GREAT.

Make as much glass stuff and jewelry as you can and hit the Ren Faire circuit! Medieval Faire in Norman, OK is the largest FREE fair and goes for three days. And by large, i mean LARGE. We went as vendors for the 1st time last year, and I will keep going back. It's well worth it. There's still time to apply (juried) with a small late fee. PS, I don't see much glass jewelry there, so you'd be unique!

Paisleigh's picture


:jawdrop: Wow- thanks guys. The last few posts have been helpful (but by all means, please don't stop if you all've got more suggestions ^-^)
Just a few note I may have forgotten to add with the inital post
1- glass- I'm currently taking my first glass working class which will cover blowing(giggle), casting and kiln form, no lamp work that I'm aware of (which kinda makes me sad, I would love to learn how to make my own lamp work beads)
2- national parks- This is where I think I will most likely be able to find a job at cooking, my only problem is that I'm not quite sure where to look if th eparks have no on-site restaurant (ie- Redwood. From what I would dig up there isn't much in the way of food stuff in teh park itself but the there is in the surrounding area. The thing with that though is I'm not sure where all to look >. 3- Amusement parks- willing to apply there (although I may still be blacklisted from at the very least Cedar Point [walked out halfway through a shift >. Yup. Thanks guys and please, keep the suggestions coming in ^_^

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