Southern Arizona Folk Arts
Home / Home / Easter Eggs, Paper Cuttings, and Woodworking from Europe / Wood Working

El Arte Folklˇrico del Sur de Arizona en espag˝ol

Wood Working

Many of the designs used on pysanky are also found in other Ukrainian traditional art forms. Stefan Tkachyk learned Ukrainian wood carving when he was a prisoner of war in Rimini, Italy, at the end of World War II. In his spare time he busies himself in his workshop at home, using the tools that he made out of bits of a burned-out tank, and creates richly textured dishes, album covers, picture frames, crosses, and other objects.

Stefan Tkachyk at work in his home
Stefan Tkachyk at work in his home
[image courtesy of James S. Griffith]

Mr. Tkachyk is shown drilling holes in the wood for the insertion of tiny beads, and using a pump drill which he made himself in a P.O.W. camp in Rimini, Italy. The chuck of the drill is fashioned from a piece of discarded .50 calibre brass.

Cross by Stefan Tkachyk, in the style which involves incised lines filled with paint. 1982
Cross by Stefan Tkachyk, in the style which involves incised lines filled with paint. 1982
[image courtesy of James S. Griffith]

Plate by Stefan Tkachyk, utilizing his chip-carving and bead inlay style 1983 slide
Plate by Stefan Tkachyk, utilizing his chip-carving and bead inlay style 1983 slide
[image courtesy of James S. Griffith]

Mr. Tkachyk has two basic styles. In each, he starts with a stained, polished wood surface. In one style, he incises an intricate geometric pattern and fills the incised lines with different colors of paint. In the other, he creates a chip-carved pattern and then inlays tiny glass beads into the polished portions of the surface. Mr. Tkachyk distributes most of his work to friends, family members, and others in the local Ukrainian-American community. He once described his work in this way: when he had time, he said, he would go to his workshop, take out his old tools, put some Ukrainian music on the record player, and start to work, his joy in carving combined with sadness for his lost homeland. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Mr. Tkachyk has returned several times to see family members.

Quilts | Easter Eggs, Paper Cuttings, and Woodworking from Europe | An Occupation and a Region: Cowboy and Western Folk Art | Chicano Murals in Tucson| Low Riders -- A Contemporary Folk Art Form | Mexican American Paperwork | Mexican Food in Tucson | Rights & Permissions | Home