Woodcarvers share skills of art

John Leroux pointed to a small carved cowboy boot sitting in the display cabinet at the Ascension Parish Library’s Donaldsonville branch.

“That’s mine and that’s mine too, but my name’s not there,” Leroux said as he talked to library staffers about his work.

The case was filled with wood carvings and books about the hobby.

Leroux, a native of France who now lives in Prairieville, was viewing his work before a presentation by he and other members of the Pelican Woodcarvers Guild.

With just two years of carving experience, Leroux was praised by the other club members for his work.

Leroux said his experience in learning different carving techniques is a testament to club members who have shared their skills with the novice.

John Oubre, a former industrial arts teacher at East Ascension High School and retired School Board supervisor, said that while he had a long history with woodworking, carving was a hobby new to him just a few years ago.

Oubre, president of the woodcarvers’ group, picked up carving to assist with his furniture-making.

Larry Oubre, a native of Donaldsonville who now lives in Baton Rouge, talked about sharpening tools and wood-burning techniques.

“If you can draw you can do this,” Larry Oubre said as he demonstrated how the wood-burning tool is used to create different sized lines.

However, Larry Ourbre said he is not an artist and usually cheats by tracing his patterns onto a piece of wood.

With the proper tools, attention to safety tips and the guiding hand of an experienced carver, John Oubre said woodcarving is a fun hobby for men and women.

Group members encouraged those attending the May 30 program to pick up a few library books on the hobby and give it a try.

The program is part of the library’s educational presentations that include craftsmen, artists and others.

Artist Ruth Williams will talk about her work during a 6 p.m. June 20 program at the Donaldsonville branch.

Williams, is a self-taught artist and LSU graduate, has displayed and sold her art as far away as New York City. In 2004, Williams was awarded an Artist Residency Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center.

Darryl Crawford will be demonstrating the art of fly-tying during a 6 p.m. June 27 program at the library’s Dutchtown branch. He’ll demonstrate how to tie his “bream killer” lure and “round popping bug” lures. Call (225) 673-8699 to register for the Dutchtown program.

For more information and to register for library programs in Donaldsonville, call (225) 473-8052.