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April 21, 2014
Contra Costa Times
by Karen Kefauver

Aptos >> Sometimes the dream of falling in love with “the boy (or girl) next door” comes true. Scott Lindberg and Cristie Thomas were neighbors in Boulder Creek in the ’70s. Now settled in Aptos, they have been together 38 years — and continue to collaborate on artistic projects, which is what drew them together in the first place.

Their company, LMNO Arts, specializes in custom metal work for homeowners and showcases their work as artists, designers and fabricators.

“We design and build custom metal work for landscape and the home. We build a lot of gates, including driveway gates and walking gates. We build sculptural pieces, too, including furniture, fences, arbors, railings and hand rails.”

Recently their landscape work was on display at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show as part of the Foothill College Horticulture Department show garden. That full-scale display garden garnered two awards at the March show, including the “People’s Choice Award.”

It’s not the first award they have won as part of a project. But awards aren’t important to the couple.

“We don’t enter competitions or attend craft fairs,” said Thomas. “Mostly word of mouth is how people find us.”

The duo works primarily in steel, bronze, copper, wood, concrete, and glass, “but we’re adventuresome,” Lindberg said.

One thing they create is purely for fun — birdhouses.

“We do sell them or else we would have dozens of them. We have been making them for three years and make about three dozen a year. They are largely sculptural. There’s nothing scientific about them,” said Thomas.

When they are not designing and building, Thomas and Lindberg, in their mid-60s, are passionate about their three horses. They primarily ride in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.

“We had a wild misconception that if we took a lesson we would become great riders,” Thomas said after she and her husband enjoyed some trail rides in different parts of the U.S. “But riding horses is not something that you do, it’s something you become.”

For Lindberg, riding is a refresher.

“The work is very particular and takes concentration,” Lindberg said. “All that goes away on the trail.”

When it comes to LMNO, the couple agrees that what they are proudest of is working well with homeowners and professional designers — and each other.

“We get to the root of what they want,” said Lindberg.

Karen Kefauver, www.karenkefauver.com, is a freelance journalist with no skill in metal work. She writes the Sentinel’s Spin City, a monthly bicycle column. Idea for a future Monday profile, email [email protected].

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