It's a child's toy. Something you would never think could be parlayed into a money-making proposition. But there is a man in Auburn who has turned child's play into a full-time job. Debbie Williams caught up with him out along County Road 12.
"It is a great job and it was never meant to be. I kind of stumbled into it." Works of art. Sculptures, mosaics, made by a 20 something man who has kind of reverted back to his childhood."I had Lego sets as a child. I probably got my first one when I was five or six years old immediately built it and rebuilt it and from then on every birthday and Christmas gift had to include a Lego set of some sort."
Eric Harshbarger wasn't looking for a new career, but he was looking for a challenge. What he does with little blocks of plastic is amazing. "I was building that one for two weeks and I was halfway through it and I still didn't know if it was going to work out correctly." It started as a hobby and with a little robot from "Star Wars". "It took me a whole summer just to figure out how many pieces I would need where to buy the pieces and things like that. The memory I had from the pieces I had in my parents attic you know in my childhood memory I had thousands upon thousands certainly I'll have enough to build this R2D2." He announced his creation on a website. "Suddenly people were going, 'Oh wow, look what this guys doing if you can get enough pieces,' and that encouraged me to do other models and since then it gradually became more and more of a business." "What do you tell them you do?" "Usually I wait till they ask. I used to say I'm a computer programmer and left it at that but now I've admitted it. Usually by saying I build mosaics or sculptures out of Lego bricks for a living ." What a cool job. Interlocking little pieces of plastic into models, sculptures even a wedding cake but, there is a downside. "I get blisters on my fingers and they get calloused at times." A small price to pay for something you love to do. "Sometimes you just end up doing this and I think a lot of times the only thing that keeps people from doing things like this is their own hesitancy." And don't worry there's more to come from Eric. "I have about a million bricks in my studio that I have to find some use for."