A couple of years back, I turned the corner to head towards the vet clinic when I suddenly noticed a sign. (When asked where the vet clinic is, we normally just tell people that it’s east of Bridger, that big yellow complex, and if you cross the railroad tracks, turn back. So for there to be an actual sign there, directing people to the correct location was something of a departure.) And it wasn’t just any sign–it was beautiful: horses, cattle, dogs, knee-high grass, and mountain foothills cut into metal. This sign was more than a name for a business. It was a visual representation of the work my father did.
Once I got over the shock of finding something so beautiful out on the pasture, I asked dad where that came from. “John Lockie, Double Y Design Metal Works” he said. “I went to high school with his dad over in Miles City. John does a lot of metal work, and I asked him to make that. Turned out pretty well, didn’t it. He also did the sign for the front of the clinic itself.”
Over the years, John has moved from doing work for dad to conspiring on projects with me. Last year, I got the idea that I wanted a sign for the front of our house here in Texas, and in my head, this sign seemed like it should be made of metal. So I emailed John, sending him ideas of what type of design my husband and I liked (for the record, Frank Lloyd Wright and Arts and Crafts), what I wanted the sign to say. John sent back a pencil sketch, we corrected the font for the project, and I knew right away that we had a winner. The sign is layered and uses three different colors, much like one of the stained-glass windows that adorns Wright’s studio in Oak Park, Illinois. This sign was ostensibly for my husband, and I gave this sign to him last year for Valentine’s Day. My friend Diane took one look at this, however, and said, “Yeah, that sign is all you.” And yes, it very much is. I love walking up to our house, seeing this sign, and knowing that it reflects the people and dogs and love therein.
John has since built a mailbox for us, and once we find a way to get it south, it will be the finishing touch to our front yard. Said mailbox is a bit stout, however, so it is waiting for either me to make a dog-and-huckleberry run north or for someone to need to bring a load of hay south. Stay posted! (And yes, that was a horrible pun.)
And if you’re looking for more examples of John’s work, then check out this past issue of the Tri-State Livestock News. It holds a great article on John, how he got started, and best of all–several photos of his iron designs. If you need to get a hold of John about getting a sign of your own (please, hold the “Here’s your sign” jokes), you can reach him at doubleydesign at gmail dot com.