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Chair Caner, Weaver, and Spinner
Mrs. Gayle Begnaud is a life long resident of Lafayette, Louisiana and is presently employed as a wallpaper hanger. She graduated from high school and has some college education. Her religious affiliation is Catholic. Gayle has three children: Andre, Kevin, and Kenny. She also has five grandchildren.
Gayle's art form is chair caning, weaving, and spinning. She was taught by Mr. Ned Arceneaux and other artists in the 1970's. Her technique is weaving materials to form patterns in chair seats. She uses simple tools such as pegs, an awl, scissors a spinning wheel, and looms. There are supplementary materials such as plastic caning and cording available, but Gayle uses mostly natural materials such as rattan and cattails (rush), which are found in the area where she lives. Cotton dyed with indigo is her main fiber used for spinning.
Mrs. Begnaud has restored chairs for private homes as well as museums. Presently, she is working with Gladys LeBlanc Clark on a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, they are making an Acadian Blanket.
Gayle has performed and had exhibits at the Louisiana Native Crafts Festival in Lafayette, the Jazz Festival in New Orleans, Mamou Mardi Gras, and the Rural Life Museum in Baton Rouge. She was selected as the outstanding craft person of the year at Vermillion in 1991.
Updated November 17, 2016 by Natchitoches-NSU Louisiana Folklife Center Staff