Meet Folk-Art Craftsman, Ernie Pannell

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Mary Standifer/CullmanSense
I just design them for the kids, and I love kids, so it’s what I do for them.”
Ernie Pannell, Craftsman

CULLMAN – In a tiny lot on the side of Highway 278 West often sits a gentleman selling wooden furniture and fixtures out of a home-made trailer pulled by a gray pick-up truck. This man is craftsman, Ernie Pannell.

Pannell is known by locals mainly for his handcrafted, child’s rocking chairs. The chairs come in two sizes and often feature hand-painted artwork on the seat. “My wife does all the artwork; her name’s Linda Pannell,” says Pannell. The artwork often features classic Disney cartoon characters and college football mascots. Aside from rocking chairs, Pannell also offers handmade bird houses, bird feeders, plaques, and porch swings. 

“I set up about two years ago. I’ve got six…great-grand babies; one of them has Leukemia, and she wanted a rocking chair, so I built her one, and I’ve been building them ever since,” explained Pannell. “Other people wanted them, so I started building them for other people. I don’t make that much. I just design them for the kids, and I love kids, so it’s what I do for them.” 

Pannell’s work is an example of folk art available in Cullman. To look at and purchase Pannell’s work, find him most days on the side of Highway 278 across the street from Johnny’s BBQ. “I’m here when it’s pretty; when the sun’s shining I’m here. When it rains I go home,” laughed Pannell.