Lewis Mailbox Decorations

My husband and I never thought we would create art together. He is a former computer guru – systems analyst, fix-it guy – logical, literal, analytical, methodical. I had lots of different jobs – elementary school teacher, reading clinic owner/teacher, executive administrative assistant, medical transcriptionist/bookkeeper for busy surgeons.

I didn’t start trying to create anything until my friend Debbye died of breast cancer. She dared me to stick my neck out and TRY to do something that made my heart sing, stressing that it didn’t need to be ‘good,’ it just needed to make me happy. The start was my son designing a website for my own work building to the point where I had 100 other artists showing their work with me on a site I called “Creative Artworks.”

My husband retired, and then I did, too a few years later. He got interested in building a CNC set up in our shop – a huge cutting table with a computer-guided torch. He learned to convert pictures we found on the Internet into code the computer could follow to cut out the designs.

We learned as we created, trying different techniques. Here are a few of our earlier efforts –

After we cut out the design, we used a transparency on an overhead projector to mark out the design on the blank metal. People pass our driveway from two sides, so we figured out how to mark the designs so I could paint both sides. My husband figured out how to attach the designs to the mailbox post, and then switched to mounting posts so our designs could get larger and more complex.

We enjoyed doing some of our favorite cartoon characters –


And then we did decorations for holidays –

And others we liked –

Early on we figured out that we needed to make a place to store all these. We hung a piece of heavy angle iron from the ceiling in the shop – about 14 feet long, and made hangers for each of the decorations so they hang at approximately the same height and labeled each.

Making new pieces gets more difficult because we now argue over what we want to make, how to make it, and what colors to paint it. :0)