Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Wood Guy

Betty took us on a road trip to New Iberia to see the wood guy, Gerald Judice. Gerald is a native Cajun who farmed his family land until about twenty years ago when he decided to quit farming and pursue his real love, woodworking. He gets almost all of his wood out of the swamp from the old stumps left behind when the cypress were cut a hundred years ago. Some of the wood he works with is several hundred years old. Gerald was splitting firewood to sell when we arrived. He stopped what he was doing and spent over two hours, including a trip to his house to see the finished work, to share his love of his trade with us. This is just another example of the friendliness of the Cajun people.

This is just a small portion of the wood he has at his shop. He stacks it to air dry and has wood everywhere. This is Celine and MaryBeth looking for pieces to use for crafts.
Nanc found a small piece of cypress that Gerald planed so she could make a sign for the rig.

Gerald demonstrated how he turns the wood on the lathe to make bowls.

This is the finished product beside the round blank he starts with.

This is some of his work he was selling at the craft festival. The finished products are beautiful with the grain and knots adding to the look. He also makes benches, cutting boards, swings and many other interesting pieces. Betty collects the wood and with some assistance from Laurie, a camper at the park, she turns the wood into folk art to decorate the pavilion. Because the beauty of folk art is in the eye of the beholder we decided that if you don't like it fo_k you!!!!

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