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RiverScene Magazine | Local Havasu Resident Sparks Joy And Inspiration Through Her Art

Written by Janet Crews

Driving up Rustler Drive, it may seem like any other neighborhood in Lake Havasu City, but inside local Deborah Rivas-Robidoux's garage is a space filled with metal and ceramics; There is a lot of inspiring creativity at work.

What really stands out is her metal life-size doll. It's similar to the classic paper dolls that many people grew up with, only in metal form. The dolls are also made from recycled metal from old cars and other objects. There are also wardrobe changes.

“It can take about 40 minutes to smooth and cut all the parts. This includes the face and hair, which my husband helped me with,” Robidoux said. “It's a costume that takes a little time to make.”

Metal doll made from recycled metal.Gillian Danielson/River Scene

Costumes can be changed with the seasons, but they require some smoothing, painting, and getting the details just right before they're ready.

“The shoes are also removable. Now my clients are also asking me to make them new shoes,” Robidoux said.

She says she found inspiration in art while working as a math teacher in Sitka, Alaska. Ms. Robidoux was advised that she needed to start teaching art because she was always coming up with creative ideas in her math class. There she later earned her certification and immediately began teaching the subject, and she also took her own welding course.

” I had a recurring dream that I was welding. It seemed so real that I decided I needed to learn it,” Robidoux said.

The inspiration behind her dolls came quickly after seeing the mini sculptures she welded.

She noticed that the sculpture looked flat and reminded her of a paper doll. From there, her larger metal dolls were born.

Robidoux and his family purchased a small store in 2016 and moved to Arizona. Not only are her metal dolls busy in her space, but she's also working on other characters called “sprites.” It is made of different colors and has a red heart displayed on her chest. Many of her sprites are made of ceramic material. Many of her illustrations also feature this character and include her motivational messages.

“Sprite” on display.Gillian Danielson/River Scene

“They are fun and bring joy to others. It reminds us that we are all special and have a little spark inside of us.”

Robidoux's work was recently exhibited at past Havasu Art Trails. She has some more plans for Sprite, but for now people can follow her character on Facebook or visit www.myspritelife.com.

Her metal paper dolls can be found at Our Place Boutique on McCulloch Boulevard.

Gillian Danielson/River Scene

Art created by Robidoux.Gillian Danielson/River Scene

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