Category Archives: metal art
On the way to the grocery store this morning, we changed our mailbox decoration. This one is about 1-1/2 feet tall and about 2 feet wide. We loved the comic strip by Bill Watterson, his wonderful sense of humor and surprising touches of warmth, like this design of his.
We captured the design from the Internet. My husband then converted the design to G-code (a language computers can understand.) We took the thumb drive out to the shop and put it into the computer than guides the torch on our CNC set up. This allows the torch to follow the directions in the G-code, cutting out the design for us. My husband then makes and welds on the attachment piece that we can mount on the mailbox.
I then use the overhead projector to mark the salient lines on the metal on both sides and then paint both sides with exterior paint. We then spray the piece with polyurethane to protect the paint from the sun and weather as much as possible.
This decoration will stay up until we replace it later this month with an Easter decoration.
We are scurrying around, trying to get things accomplished outside today since our weather is supposed to deteriorate, starting tonight and not getting much better until Wednesday of next week. We’re supposed to get cold rain, sleet, snow, and super-low temperatures for Arkansas starting tomorrow morning.
We changed out our mailbox decoration, putting up our Sylvester & Tweety Pie decoration. We’re hoping that once this cold spell is past, the worst of the winter will be behind us and we can embrace spring.
Later this afternoon, I’ll cover my new onion sets in the garden with a king-sized sheet. I’ll cover my seed starters in the greenhouse with some towels. Then I’ll just have to keep all appendages crossed that this will be enough to bring them through. I’ll be dashing out to uncover them, and then cover them again through Wednesday.
I hope that the weather is better where you are, or that you’re able to cope with the weather you’re experiencing.
I’m trying to send calmness and serenity to Mother Nature.
Happy day, everyone!
We love Calvin & Hobbes. Bill Watterson created the idea of Snow-Goons, evil snowmen who wreaked all sorts of havoc.
This is the front of our Snow-Goon decoration. He is one of the largest of our decorations. The piece is about 4 feet high and 3-1/2 fee wide. This one was also more challenging because of the attached arms holding the head. We like the 3-D effect.
This is the back of the piece. I tried to blend the attachment bar into the snowman. We’re in the middle of having a cold front move through, dropping our temperatures and threatening freezing rain, etc., so this decoration seemed appropriate.
After catching up with our good friends at Lunch Bunch and doing errands, we’re enjoying being home in a warm, dry house.
I hope you’re having a happy day, too.
This is the Year of the Pig.
We think that in a lot of ways, pigs are flying and have been for quite awhile.
My husband and I had a great time creating this flying pig from a 25 gallon propane tank and leftover parts, plus sheet metal. This picture shows him hanging from a tree over the driveway during an ice storm last year.
This is a closer look at him in better weather as we prepared to hang him from the tree.
He makes us smile every time we go down the driveway or come up again. :0)
My husband and I have a lot of fun creating decorations for our mailbox based on characters we loved when we were kids. The latest is the Tasmanian Devil from the Loony Tunes cartoons. The creator of “Taz” is Robert McKimson.
“The Tasmanian Devil, commonly referred to as Taz, is an animated cartoon character featured in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. Though the character appeared in only five shorts before Warner Bros. Cartoons closed down in 1964, marketing and television appearances later propelled the character to new popularity in the 1990s. His first name is revealed in the 1957 short Bedevilled Rabbit, when his wife addresses him as “Claude”.
Taz is generally portrayed as a ferocious, albeit dim-witted, omnivore with a notoriously short temper and little patience. He got his name in the short Ducking the Devil. Though he can be very devious, he is also sweet at times. His enormous appetite seems to know no bounds, as he will eat anything in his path. He is best known for his speech consisting mostly of grunts, growls, and rasps (in his earlier appearances, he does speak English with primitive grammar) as well as his ability to spin like a vortex and bite through nearly anything. Taz does have one weakness: he can be calmed by almost any music. While in this calm state, he can be easily dealt with. The only music known not to pacify Taz is the bagpipes, which he finds insufferable.
In 1991, Taz got his own show Taz-Mania which ran for four seasons in which Taz was the main protagonist.”
We get the image from the Internet. My husband converts the drawings into code the computer can read and reproduce. A computer-guided torch allows us to cut the design out of sheet metal on our CNC set up. Our usual pieces are about 2 feet tall and about 2.5 feet wide. We then mark the salient features on each side of the design using an overhead projector. My husband welds a mount on the piece that allows us to attach it to the pole on our mailbox. I then paint the piece on both sides with weather-resistant paint and then spray it with polyurethane to protect it from the elements as much as possible.
We enjoy creating these decorations. Rather than fighting about money, how to raise the kids, etc., we ‘discuss’ – with strong opinions – WHAT we’ll make, WHICH DESIGN is best for our needs, WHAT COLORS to paint it, and more. It brings a lot of joy in our lives to create these together – something we never pictured ourselves doing. :0)
A man drove up our steep 650 + foot driveway the other day to ask us if our work was for sale! He drives a vehicle for the Senior Citizens Center in Greenwood and regularly passes by our mailbox. He told us he looks forward to seeing what we have up each time he passes.
Thinking of his kind feedback makes me smile each time we put up another decoration!
We just put up our “Happy New Year” mailbox decoration. We made this Calvin & Hobbes design using our CNC machine and computer-guided torch to cut out the metal. My husband made and welded on the mounting bar, and then we marked both sides. I painted the sides using outdoor paint and then sprayed a protective layer of polyurethane to help it withstand the sun and weather as well as possible.
This is the back of the decoration. You can see the mounting bar clearly on this side.
Happy New Year!
We put up this mailbox decorations this morning.
As far as we’re concerned, Santa came to our home December 10th, when we picked up our son at the airport to stay with us for three weeks. We really don’t need anything more – just seeing our good friends. We are super lucky this year, having our son for his birthday AND Christmas before he leaves. Right now he’s in the dining area, working on his computer. Just knowing I can get up and get a wonderful hug makes me smile.
I hope Santa is good to YOU this year, too.
My husband and I made this decoration last year to replace this smaller one made years before. This is the back of the piece.
I liked this one okay, too, but it was really small compared to the new one, and I like the kids being on either side of the larger tree.
We went for Chinese take out last night, and I was happy to notice that the glitter on the star caught the light of our headlights and sparkled. :0)
I’m walking 3 inches (at least) off the ground this morning.
We received a delivery from Fedex this morning. The driver wasn’t our ‘normal’ driver, but a very nice young woman. She fended off Amber kindly when Amber was trying hard to greet her, wagging her tail, trying to knock her down, and trying to get into her truck at the same time. She reacted by laughing, immediately winning our feelings of relief and approval.
I got Amber and put her in the house while the lady got a huge box out of her truck. While my husband was wrestling with 60 lbs of dog food, the lady started to get back into her truck. She stopped, came back around and said something to the effect of, “I love all your artwork. I slowed the truck down so I could try to look at everything, waving at the two robots standing watch on either side of the garage door.
My spirits soared and I tried not to break my face as I grinned at her. I told her that she had made our day and thanked her.
We’re never sure what the reaction will be. Some people probably look at our stuff and shake their heads or wonder why anyone would clutter up their yard like we do. This lady particularly mentioned the robot and owls at the bottom of the driveway and the flying pig hanging from a tree midway up.
When someone is this nice, giving compliments on our stuff when there is no need (such as our saying, “Look what we made!” and then them trying to come up with something similar to, “Well, that’s a lot of stuff!” – it brings real joy.
A wonderful way to start a day!
We got our pumpkin up on the mailbox when we went for errands this afternoon. This will stay up half the month and then we’ll put our ghost up for the 2nd half of October.
I hope that the kids who ride the buses in the morning get a kick out of our decorations. They probably could use a boost, having to get up so early.
Even though our weather is still hot and muggy, it’s time (almost) to officially welcome the fall. I’ve been more than ready for quite a while now, so I was happy to call an official end to our summer, trying to put a bug in Mother Nature’s ear.
This decoration is about 3 feet high and 2-1/2 feet wide are the outstretched arms. It’s painted front and back after welding a support arm vertically up the back side for support, and then sprayed with a protective clear coating of polyurethane to help it withstand the sun and rain better.
We had a FEDEX delivery the other day from a person who has never delivered to us before. She was effusive in her praise of all the critters we’ve made. You can see part of the welcome robot and part of one of the owls on our gate post. She was laughing over the pig handing from a tree branch alongside the driveway. We think it’s definitely time pigs are flying, and of course, we put lipstick on our pig…. It really makes us happy when someone likes what we’ve done.
We put up a different mailbox decoration this morning. This one has interaction between Wyle E. Coyote, Sonic the Hedgehog, and the Roadrunner.
We liked the look of the decoration, and we enjoyed the challenge of adding some 3-Dimensional to the design with the roadrunner’s legs, made from rod and welded together.
This is the front of our roadrunner mailbox decoration. He’s about two feet tall and 1-1/2 feet wide at the widest point.
This is the back of the piece. We had to put rods up vertically on his body and his tail to make the piece strong enough to handle gusty winds. I tried to blend in the rods into the painting as much as possible.
We took down Godzilla and put up the Hookah Smoking Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland on the way to town today.
We had a good time making this one because of the 3-D quality of the tube and metal fasteners to go from his hand to the pipe. Since school starts August 13th here (can you believe it?) this will be the first of our decorations the school bus kids will see. We hope they get a kick out of it.
This is the back of the Godzilla mailbox decoration we put up on the way to do our errands this morning. He’s one of our favorite ‘characters.’ You can see how I tried to blend in his feet into the mounting piece.
We enjoy making these a lot. I’m not sure what we’ll make next, but we always have an eye out for something interesting to tackle. We’re now loving to add some 3-D effect of something else unusual.
We changed our mailbox decoration this morning, taking down the Tazmanian Devil and putting up Popeye.
We really love to make these decorations. We choose the designs together. My husband changes the image into code that our CNC computer-guided torch can understand and follow, cutting out the design from various thicknesses of sheet metal. My husband makes the piece that attaches the decoration to the mailbox with two bolts. He welds it on and smooths out any rough edges.
We wipe down all sides of the front and back with PRE, a spray that removes any oil on the metal and allows the paint to stick better. We then attach the metal piece to a holder in the shop and use a transparency we made and an overhead projector to allow me to mark the bare metal with a magic marker front and back with the design as much as possible. I then paint both sides of the piece and the attachment piece. Finally, the piece is sprayed on both sides with clear protective polyurethane so deterioration will be slowed.
This piece is tall (about 3 feet), so we added a rod vertically to the back before I painted, to keep gusty wind from bending the piece. I try to paint it so that any rods and the attachment piece blend into the design on the back as much as I can.
In the background of this picture, you can see our 6 foot tall robot holding our address sign welcoming visitors, and one of the two owls we have on either side of the driveway. They sit on top of the gate poles. Everyone’s eyes glow as car lights hit them at night. Farther up the driveway is a flying pig hanging down, a guard dog with a rifle, and various other pieces at the top. :0)
“The Tasmanian Devil, commonly referred to as Taz, is an animated cartoon character featured in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunesand Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. Though the character appeared in only five shorts before Warner Bros. Cartoons closed down in 1964, marketing and television appearances later propelled the character to new popularity in the 1990s. His first name is revealed in the 1957 short Bedeviled Rabbit, when his wife addresses him as “Claude”.” – Wikipedia
Taz is one of our favorite cartoon characters, so when we decided to try to create metal decorations to attach to our mailbox, he was one of the first we came up with. We hope he makes others smile, too, as they pass our driveway.
“Catbert is a fictional cat, and the “evil director of human resources” in the Dilbert comic strip. He was supposed to be a one-time character but resonated with readers so well that Adams brought him back as the HR director.”
This is the back of the metal mailbox decoration we made. You can see where I tried to blend the support pieces into the design when I painted it.
I hope that others who pass our driveway also love the sarcasm and wit of Scott Adams, and enjoy the mailbox decoration we made.