Ted Ludwiczak (1927 - 2016)
Ted Ludwiczak was born in Poland in 1927. He moved to New York in 1956 and worked as a contact lense grinder. In the late 1980’s when Ludwiczak retired and his wife died, he moved to a small cottage perched on a cliff on the Hudson River. He hauled the rocks out of the river and taught himself how to carve them. At first Ludwiczak used a chisel and an old lawn mower blade. Later he graduated to power tools. He has created a beautiful environment with hundreds of his large extended family of rock heads.
“Rocks talk to me,” he said. “I pick ones that have a face in them. Then I follow the shape of the stone. I can’t wait to see how it will turn out. I usually know about halfway through. It’s not always easy. Sometimes I lie awake at night, trying to figure out how to get the expression to come out of the stone.”
Ludwiczak’s stone carvings range in size from 6 inches to 4 feet. Working with these massive stones is a challenge for anyone, but this octogenarian is astonishingly strong and able.
Ted Ludwiczak’s stone carvings have been collected by the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore and the American Folk Art Museum in New York City. Ludwiczak’s stone heads are the featured attraction in the sculpture garden at the GAGA ARTS CENTER.