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Rambin, Clifton

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Decorative Gourd Maker, Woodworker, and Walking Stick Carver

Clifton Rambin was born on July 31, 1942., and he lives with his wife Margie in Pelican, Louisiana, where he first began learning his craft. Clifton is completely self-taught in creating decorated gourds, woodwork, and walking sticks. He first became interested in gourd decorating in 1990 when his wife and her friend wanted to paint gourds. He started to raise gourds and there were so many laying around that he decided to start decorating them himself. Clifton raises gourds of many different shapes, burns designs on them, and polishes them with floor wax.

Not only does Rambin grow and decorate gourds, he also creates walking sticks and children's whistles. He has been whittling and carving since he was a young child. Clifton learned how to make whistles from elder folks in his hometown. He taught himself how to create walking sticks, but first received the inspiration from seeing David Allen and his sticks at a festival. To create his lovely walking sticks he uses ash, pecan, and bois d'arc wood.

Each of Clifton's creations take an exceptional amount of patience and time, that is why he is an important Louisiana folk artist. Clifton sells his works of art at festivals throughout Louisiana. His work is displayed in the Creole State Exhibit, at the Louisiana Folklife Center, Ben Nighthouse Campbell's Collection, and the Bayou State Collection.