Fred is often asked to carve architectural relief carvings, replicas of broken or missing parts of antique furniture, old fireplace mantels and other decorative elements. But what he really likes and enjoys is realistic and figurative relief carving. Fred’s ability to sculpt allows him to create unique reliefs portraying people, animals and still life for any setting. During the past 20 years he created several large relief wood carvings for churches, schools and other institutions. He also carved many smaller pieces – some of them were commission works and some just for his enjoyment. Fred really takes time and tries to capture all details. He makes sure the fabric and hair is flowing and the muscles are moving. His relief carvings capture moments in time. Fred loves sculpting and carving women’s faces and showing their emotions and vulnerabilities which can be felt just looking at pictures of his work.
Figurative relief wood carving – carved decorative panels from Honduras mahogany. Inspired by Alfons Mucha posters and carved by Fred Zavadil
Carved and painted family crest, basswood relief carving. If you would like to see different stages of carving and a clay model which I created first for the crest, please visit this page.
Architectural wood carving
Custom carved wooden door elements
These are some of my first woodcarvings which
I carved about 25 years ago.
They are carved from Honduras Mahogany,
my very favorite wood.
Carved door handle with a wood spirit
Carved door key in baroque style
Carved door knocker with a gargoyle
Large relief wood carving: Nature’s Realm, Cambridge, ON
Fred is recently working on another large relief carving, it is a public art project for the Region of Waterloo. It is carved from a beautiful Black Walnut tree cut down on the property to make room for new part of Christopher Children Centre (30 Christopher Dr., Cambridge, ON). Its name is “Nature’s Realm” and it consists of 6 carved pieces – a large relief panel shows a forest scene with animals native to this area (4′ x 12′) and 5 3-D sculptures of animals. The large piece will be placed in the entry hall of the Centre, the animals will be placed by individual rooms – basically naming those rooms – instead of having rooms 1, 2, 3…. or A, B, C,…, there will be the “Squirrel Room”, “Raccoon Room”, etc….
Grand Wood Park Retirement Residence, London, ON
The carving for Grand Wood Park Retirement Residence in London, ON is now finished and installed. It is a large relief carving – 10 feet long, 6.5 feet high. It is carved partly from elm wood and partly from basswood. Used elm wood comes from a tree cut on the Residence’s property.
You can see the size of the carving in this picture taken in Fred’s studio in Kitchener, ON. Figurative relief carving for Grand Wood Park Retirement Residence in London, ON
This little cathedral took Fred 3 winters to complete. He would work on it almost every day instead of watching TV in the evenings. Fred carved the cathedral from Honduras Mahogany, his favorite wood. He completed it in 1996 and it really represents his beginnings in woodcarving combining ornamental relief carving and realistic figurative carving. It is not a model of any specific cathedral, Fred picked parts he liked from different churches. What you do not see (unless you look really well) are tiny wood sculptures about 1-1.5 cm ( 1/2″) above entries on both side. The windows are stained to create illusion of stained glass and there are also lights inside – you can actually see colors in windows when the light is on. Fred made the roof from hundreds of little wood pieces. This is a real “one of a kind” piece. The model is under glass case – to protect it from dust and dirt.
Santa Claus relief carving tradition
In 2011 Fred won the the Best of Show at the Artistry in Wood in Dayton Ohio and was asked to donate a small carving for the 2012 show. Because the show was not too long before Christmas, Fred thought that the best topic to carve would be Santa Claus. He had so much fun carving and Santa was so much liked by so many people that Fred decided to create a new Santa every Christmas. And he is just carving his fifth one. All of his Santas are little different than what you would usually see around – they are funny, with a twinkle in the eyes, and most of the time show Santa celebrating after Christmas – with Mrs. Claus, with a reindeer, little drink or a bottle. This year, it will be with a couple of elves taking a selfie. You can watch Fred working on a relief carving of Santa #3 below.
Fred Zavadil, Master wood carver, located in Windsor, Ontario
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