This father-son tandem are among Louisiana’s most prominent bird carvers. Laurent Verdin, Sr. was born on August 10, 1909 and spent most of the years between then and his death in 1991 living in Fala, Louisiana (also known as Bayou Blue). Laurent Sr. was a hunter, fur trapper, and shrimper by trade, however, his father, Octave Verdin, also taught him how to carve his own working decoys. Laurent Sr.’s decoys are highly sought after and have been obtained by collectors as far away as France. Notable collectors of Laurent Sr.’s work include former Louisiana Senator Russell Long and former President Bill Clinton. In addition to carving his own birds, Laurent Sr. also taught several of his twelve children to carve, including his son, Laurent Jr.
Laurent Verdin, Jr., who has been referred to as “The Elmer Crowell of the Bayous,” is known for its imaginative execution of life-like detail. Famous for his life-sized and miniature carvings, Laurent Jr.’s birds are most recognized by their realistic poses and authentic looking eyes, an impressive feat given the fact that he relies on the most primitive of carving equipment. Most of Laurent Jr.’s carvings are of ducks, however, his goose, heron, and owl carvings highlight his ability to carve any bird and have his work stand beside anyone’s.
For additional information
“Laurent Verdin, Jr.: The Elmer Crowell of the Bayous,” by Charles W. Frank. Hunting & Fishing Collectables Magazine, March-April 2010. P. 44-47.