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Fine Craft Collective

Dick Zawacki 2019

While carving for over 30 years, I have found my favorite subjects to be realistic animals and birds, human faces, and chip carved items.  I have tried most types and styles of carving and find them all enjoyable.  The process learned in one carving style often has applications in another style.  My preferred carving woods are native Minnesota butternut and basswood.  I have had the pleasure to study with and learn from many teachers, but I find that you learn best by doing and experimenting.

Carving has changed how I relate to things in every day life.  I now observe and perceive things instead of just “seeing” them.  I look for the differences in facial features of people that I see in a crowd or the   individual differences in a species of an animal or bird.  My carving subjects are often taken from things that are part of my life because I know them best.

As I carve a new piece, I enjoy seeing the beauty of the wood grain emerge and how the light plays off of each carved facet to really enhance the carving as it gets down to its final form.  I find that my carving sessions are a great way to turn 15 minutes into 3 hours.  There is a certain zen that comes from carving that I find nowhere else.

One of these days, when I finally grow up, I will decide on which style or subject suits me best.  Until then, I will just keep learning and making more wood chips.