Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Clerk at a mall cheese store. The boss hated me until I was the only one to get the sales tax right on shipments to Viet Nam.

Clerk at an Italian food catering service and restaurant. One of the angry cooks threw knives. He eventually got fired. 

College dorm meal ticket taker. This was a coveted food service job. I got to sit, socialize and punch tickets.

Counselor at a camp for inner city kids from the Chicago projects. I still think about Crevena, a 9-year-old with sickle cell anemia. She was afraid to go to the bathroom alone after dark for fear of getting shot.

Clerk in the trade book section of the campus bookstore. I got to preview all sorts of books and get in on good sales. I loved this job!

Waitress and bartender at a pizza place. My worst job ever. Enough said.

Clerk at a frozen baked goods store. The boss was angry that I quit to go back to school. I simultaneously held the job of . . . 

Artist at a small pottery. Mom’s curtain hanger had a side pottery business. We made some of the worst slip cast pottery imaginable. 

Bartender at a cowboy bar. I lasted 2 weeks. This one was scary.

Model for life drawing classes. Long poses gave me an opportunity to plan the next sculpture or catch up on sleep.

Art Museum guard. This student job allowed me to look at art almost the whole time. Sweet!

Restorer of ancient Native American pottery. I got to handle some of the most beautiful pottery on Earth. The top priority: Do no harm.

Research assistant in Ceramics. I researched firing a kiln with recycled motor oil. Years later, I found a patent that Dad’s company got for a wood drying kiln burner. A parallel. 

Teaching assistant in Studio Art. The student who gave me the most grief asked me out on a date some 6 or 7 years later. Really?

Teaching assistant in Ceramics. One of the best students became my printmaking teacher years later. One of the worst students ate clay in class.

Teaching assistant in Papermaking. I was fortunate to work with a professor who rediscovered papermaking and elevated it to an art form thereby moving the field forward.

Administrative assistant at ASU. I managed scholarships, fellowships, and processed routine student requests. Mom laughed when she heard I was hired to work in an office. I then got promoted to . . .

Assistant to the dean at ASU. I oversaw student award programs, and more. My duties changed after 4 or 5 years. I became an internal consultant for accreditation reviews and got involved with strategic planning and the initiation of new graduate degree programs. Mom was impressed. I then got promoted to . . .

Assistant dean at ASU. I did the same work as before but got the appropriate title and compensation. Mom was still impressed but didn’t think I should buy a house just yet. I bought a house.

Artist in Residence for an Elementary School District. In exchange for art demonstrations for 6th graders, I got studio space. Thanks to my former boss for allowing me to take vacation time to do the daytime demos!

Artist/owner at S. Luehr Studios. I left administration at ASU to do color consulting in the built environment and make sculpture. Color consulting didn’t make me happy so I just made art. Mom was horrified.

Part-time Technician for a city ceramics program. I took a job mixing glazes and keeping the studio in order. I lasted 2 weeks. Hauling heavy buckets of glaze around wasn’t my thing.

Part-time Adjunct faculty in 3D Design at MCC. A well-kept secret: teachers learn as much if not more than their students. I loved the interaction with students but the "paper-work"? Not so much. But I stayed for 18 years.

Photo Editor for a Photographer. I manipulate another artist’s photos in countless ways. I turn the photos into digital paintings sometimes changing the composition, adding or removing subject matter, and much more.