Reme Ange "June" Roussell (1903-1972) Raceland, LA
Reme Roussell turned to gunsmithing and decoy carving thereby becoming one of the first professional carvers. Reme's brother, James Curtis (dates unknown) carved as well, producing birds with clean smooth lines and detailed bill and wing carving. Between the 1940's and the early 1960's, Reme carved most of his birds. Unlike most Louisiana carvers at that time, Roussell employed patterns for each decoy. Roussell stored his patterns with care and placed runners under the blocks of cut tupelo gum to insure even drying.
Roussell gained wide-spread recognition for his dove rigs and ringneck decoys, but he also carved canvasback, coot, mallard, redhead, scaup and teal, most of which were drakes. Each bird has pronounced wing and tail carving, and the majority are positioned to look straight ahead. Roussell's body carving demonstrates marked gradual refinements, but the head carving style reflects little change over the years. Roussell possessed a sensitivity for form such that the species of his decoys could be determined before the birds were even painted. He had a keen painting ability as well, so each lure became a working piece of art.
Gunsmithing was Roussell's first priority though, so his overall decoy production was not what it could have been. His first decoys sold for fifty cents each, but as he put more effort into each bird, the price rose to ten to twenty-five dollars a piece (Frank, Wetland 131; Engers 198).