Interview with cypress furniture maker Robert James Rudd

Date: September 14, 1986

Source: S1685 , Container 7

Type: Sound

This item has not yet been digitized. It is available for use in person at the State Archives in Tallahassee. You may also order a copy – click on the Ordering tab for details.


  • Three audio cassettes. A former construction worker who was born in Boynton Beach, Rudd built wicker furniture from cypress. Originally the cypress was local, but as development increased, he began acquiring the wood areas north of him. Few power tools were used to make the furniture. In the interview he discusses his father's furniture making career; types of furniture made; tools used; selling furniture; growing during the Depression in South Florida; Cedar Key; the loss of timber sources; the Florida East Coast railway; his career in the US Navy; frog and alligator hunting; snakes; and furniture made from grapevine. The Folk Arts in Education Project in Palm Beach County was a joint venture between the Palm Beach County School System and the Florida Folklife Program. It was conducted between 1986 and 1987 by folklorist Jan Rosenberg with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts to add to existing social studies curriculum. The goal was to impart an appreciation of multi-ethnic traditions and provide a sense of place to the mobile student population. The project focused on the Florida Studies component for fourth grade students. The project consisted of field research to identify local traditions and folk artists, a series of five two-day seminars to acquaint teachers with the use of folklore and folk arts, in-school programs conducted by a folklorist and traditionalist, which included visits by local folk artists. In total, the project involved 15 schools with 779 students.

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