Gypsy Wagon Wares

Cutting Boards

Gypsy Ware

You can’t miss their “booth” at a festival: as advertised, it’s a gypsy wagon, and crammed with cool stuff, some practical, some purely decorative, but all fun. A practical gal (and former chef) myself, I headed for the cutting boards, and now smile every time I slice an onion.

For 35 years, owner Ron Hostetter has been making cutting boards out of unused ends of red oak flooring, and I’ll bet many of his original boards are still in service. Stylized musical instruments and whimsical animals dominate the designs, but whatever you play or pet, there’s probably a shape to suit your fancy, and most have holes so they’re easy to hang to dry and store. Hostetter has them signed by artists and hangs ˊem up as memorabilia.

Mandolins and violins, guitars both acoustic and electric, banjos and upright basses, there’s wood for every player. Whales, moose, rooster and goose, the animal kingdom awaits, along with simple shapes like rectangles, paddles and a heart. For the musician with almost everything, here’s something they won’t have, will love and won’t break your bank.

Reasonably priced at $30, most instrument boards are about 12” X 22”, tall because of the necks, but the other shapes come in two sizes, large, 12” X 18” (216 square inches, $30) and medium, 10” X 15” (150 square inches, $20). I got the medium, and it’s fine for everything but watermelon and turkey. The large doubles as a stylish serving tray for buffet items, or just grazing in front of the TV.

The Gypsy Wagon hits festivals from Swanneefest and Waneefest in Florida, Delfest in Maryland, Telluride, Rocky Grass and Folkfest in Colorado and Harvestfest in Arkansas. I caught up with them at Grey Fox Bluegrass Fest in Upstate New York, but thank God for the Web, where they’re at There, you can buy or ask them about their schedule at a festival near you.

-Suzanne Cadgene

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