Sumter County


Burt said that he had been “whittlin since I was a kid”. His granddaddy made canes before he was born, so he came by his craft naturally. From his description of the wood types he uses, it sounds like nearly every tree species around him is fair game. He uses mahogany, walnut, Osage orange, cedar, pine, poplar and sycamore. Depending on the piece he is making, his time from start to finish is thirty minutes to a couple of hours. “A guitar can take up to six months” he said.

Besides his love of woodworking, Burt has a passion for music. He had a dance band at age fourteen, and has been with a gospel group for more than thirty years. He is now a regular with the Sucarnochee Review in Sumter County.

Burt took shop in high school and learned the tools of the trade, but that was his only formal training. He said that he had been doing woodwork for more than sixty years.

Burt said that one of the most rewarding aspects of his work is sharing with others. He carries wooden Christian fish that he gives to anyone who needs one.