After receiving a degree in graphic design from Denver University, Malacek began a career in the advertising art field. As he became increasingly disenchanted with this, he began exploring different artistic pursuits which included dimensional wood sign design where his layout, typography and illustration skills proved useful. Decorative relief carving as well as glass etching were added to this. He also studied woodcarving under master carver Chirs Effom of Minneapolis while developing his own unique blend of etching and sculpting that would become this wall art.
Richard Malacek has spent three decades exploring designs found in the natural world through close up photography, drawing and decorative relief carving. He has found inspiration in the complex and ever changing images there.
Leaf forms, with their shapes and variety coupled with an opportunity of working with reclaimed old growth redwood, cypress and Western Red Cedar, eventually evolved into these wall sculpture.
Malacek designs the pieces by first resawing the wood reconfiguring it into vertical grain panels from which sculptural blanks are configured, each one as unique as the wood itself.
The final piece is a combination of smooth carved leaf forms and etched backgrounds finished in clear, water based satin, showcasing the woods' textured and beautiful color variation.
" I conceive this wall sculpture using leaf forms as my inspiration. I am fortunate for the opportunity to do this with redwood, cypress and western red cedar; all reclaimed and old growth- a fitting compliment to the leaf designs. Each piece is as unique as the wood used to create it."