OLDŘICH ČECH THE CARVER Representative of modern carving in Kralice

Oldřich Čech was born on February 22nd, 1972, in the city of Slaný. He and his parents moved to Králíky in East Bohemia in 1976, where he spent his entire youth. He enjoyed working with wood from an early age and graduated from the Secondary Industrial School of Woodworking in Hranice. However, the town of Králíky, with its rich woodcarving history, influenced his further spiritual and professional life. Until the end of the Second World War, whole families living in Králíky carved nativity scenes, toys, pipes or birds. They used it as a source of livelihood. After the war, the family production vanished. In the 1980s, when Oldřich Čech was about 10 years old, only Josef Schwarzer, the last carver of the old school, was active in Králíky. Little Oldřich was interested in toys. When he learned that toys used to be made in the town, he started getting interested in the history of a local carving at an early age. The sculpture symposium held in Králíky in 1995 was the impetus for his own work. By trial and error, he began to discover the secrets of carving under the tutelage of Josef Schwarzer, the father of Kralický carvers. Oldřich Čech developed a distinctive authorial style. However, having become better acquainted with Josef Schwarzer, he decided to follow the path of tradition and to continue the old sculptors of Nativity figures from Kralice.