(WJAR) — A married couple from Massachusetts has a really cool hobby.
For years, Amanda and Christian Bertram have been building LEGO sets, resulting in an entire city that's being built inside of a New Bedford art studio.
"We're LEGO enthusiasts obviously," said Amanda. "We figured out we had way too many and we needed a place to put them, so we were like, 'Let's just make a huge LEGO city and we will keep adding to it.'"
Christian's mother was an artist. She passed away a few years ago, so the pair decided to keep the studio, along with her art work, and make it their own.
Besides the city that's full of details, there are dozens if not hundreds of LEGO creations of all kinds from Harry Potter to old whaling ships symbolizing New Bedford.
"We've spent thousands of hours on this," said Christian. "We spend a lot of nights here like when I get out of work, I'll meet him here," added Amanda.
Both of them work full-time jobs. The LEGO building is a hobby. They call themselves "Bertram Brick Builds."
"Time gets away with you," said Amanda. "This stuff, it's fun to get into just shut your brain off and focus on what's in front of you."
Hundreds of kits and pieces later, the building never gets old.
Christian said he's been a LEGO enthusiast since a child.
"When we started dating, we started buying the sets for each other like on the holidays and it's just grown from there," said Christian.
"I never had LEGOs as a kid. My friends didn't have them. I didn't even know what they were until I was older. Then, once we started doing it, I think Christian was very surprised at how good I was at doing it," said Amanda.
Christian has built or added on to sets he's had since he was a kid.
Over the years the Bertrams have added to their collection purchasing some sets new and others old.
They're always on the lookout for LEGO sets at yard sales and the Internet.
“It’s a really fun thing to do between each other to bond and it’s also a really good way to connect to the people around us,” said Amanda.
Many would think the pair would want to show off their awesome creations but the Bertram’s said for a while they didn’t tell anyone about their hobby.
“Not too many of them knew about this before,” said Christian. “We kind of kept it on the down-low for a little while just because it was our little thing that we did,” added Amanda. “But now that they know they’re so supportive they love it too. Our friends and family come they put their personal touches on it. Our friend Jeff is in charge of the underwater scene right now.”
The Bertram’s don’t have any children but said their friend’s kids think what they’re doing is pretty cool.
Last weekend, they held an event opened to the community so that those who were interested could check out what they were working on.
"After we had the event this weekend it was very clear there's a lot of people young and old that are interested in LEGOs," said Amanda.
"We were surprised from the outpouring of support from the local community once people started hearing about us," said Christian. "It feels great. It's been really positive experience."
The Bertrams are now selling pixelated pieces of LEGO art. They're hopeful to have more events like the one they recently held and include other artists.
"We're hoping to expand the things that we've been selling, the pixel art pieces we've been experimenting with, different ones we're going to try to move into mosaic pictures and we're also looking into building people's houses out of LEGOs," said Amanda. "You're never too old for LEGOs that's the overall message here."
The Bertrams have been chosen as the artists of the month at New Bedford's Barcade. Their work will be on display there.
You can follow their work on Instagram: @BertramBrickBuilds.