After I got my BFA I went to work designing and building custom bicycles for a boutique shop in Philadelphia. 

I was able to hone my metalworking skills, from CNC machining to welding and brazing. 

I also learned how to work with customers to create the perfect ride. Some wanted aesthetic customization, some were focused on fit and performance. Every bike was a painstakingly thought-out work of art. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the bike industry, and it helped set me on the path to industrial design. Aside from the bike specific skills, I got a great understanding of how materials work, how small businesses are run, and how to collaborate well with clients.

 

I don't work with my hands much these days, but it was a formative experience and I miss it. 

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© Isis Shiffer 2019