Carving a Niche in Woodworking
Looking for one of the most popular gift items for 2021? Then chop, chop over to The Delcambre Seafood and Farmers Market and visit the booth of RW Rustic Creations where woodworker Ronny Brown sells some of the most attractive charcuterie and butcher block cutting boards around – and more.
Ronny has been honing his woodworking craft since he was a teen. “My dad did woodworking and we’d work on projects together, like making boom boxes for my friends’ and my car,” recalls the Lafayette resident.
While he is known for his cutting boards, he also turns out display ladders, picture frames, small custom pieces like end tables, and novelty items like his wooden shot glass holders and stovetop covers that double as a food prepping surface. He enjoys working with hard woods – primarily maple and oak – but recently started incorporating imported varieties like walnut, olive wood, Bacote and paddock, an African wood with a natural red tint.
Inspired to “make things that people can use and enjoy,” Ronny says many of his ideas come from his wife “who’ll come across an idea and ask him to make it.”
This spring he began selling his work at farmers markets, including the Delcambre Seafood & Farmers Market. “I like the people at the Delcambre Market,” he says. “It’s a good variety of customers who are friendly people that I like to be around. They’re also curious and want to talk to vendors about their items.” Ronny seems to have found the ideal hobby for combining his passion for woodworking and talking with people.
The Browns moved to Lafayette four years ago from their native Semmes, Al., where they maintain a residence that has a workshop. Once a month, Ronny travels there to do prep work on his wood projects and then finishes the pieces in Lafayette.
“Woodworking is relaxing and takes you away from the everyday stress of life,” says Ronny who works the western half of Louisiana as a field service engineer for Omni Cell, a healthcare automation company. “There’s a satisfaction in taking a raw material and making it into something someone will use and cherish,” he adds.
When Ronny’s not running his wood planer, he’s…well…just running. He took the life-long passion to competitive running eight years ago, placing first and second in his age group in 5 and 10K races. (His personal best time: a 4:15 mile.)