Konstantinos Papadakis is a master wood carver whose work is acclaimed throughout North America and in Europe. His carvings in the Byzantine style are widely acknowledged as among the finest displayed in Orthodox Churches in the U.S. and Canada today.
When only a young boy of 9 in Crete, Konstantinos chanced upon a vacationing sculptor who taught him several carving techniques. This brief mentoring in an old coffee shop was the beginning of a life-long prolific career for Konstantinos. When only 12, Konstantinos so impressed Master Carver Theoponis Nomiko that he took the young lad on as his apprentice. There, under the expert’s professional tutelage, Konstantinos honed his craft until he emigrated to the United States in the mid-1960’s
Konstantinos’ first commission in the U.S. was to create a frame for tiny St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis, where he worked from a closet sized room in the church basement. Word spread about the young artisan. By 1969 he was commissioned to produce a large screen for a church in Manitoba. Several years later, he produced the largest known Byzantine style altar screen in the U.S. for a church in Louisville, Kentucky. A faded picture of this screen graces the main page of this website.
Konstantinos’ works have encompassed numerous commissions for secular clients as well. Today one can see many of his pieces of furniture in use at the historic Capitol Building in St. Paul, Minnesota. His creations encompass myriad types and styles of wood furniture and decor.
Within his craft, Konstantinos has mastered many intricate and demanding styles including the Byzantine, Barocco (Baroque), Gothic and Greek Folk styles and the traditional Cretan form of Kritieptamsiaco. For each piece that he is commissioned to produce, Konstantinos works closely with the client to select a style and create a design that balances both traditional principles with the contemporary requirements and tastes of the customer.
Today Konstantinos is also an active teacher of his art. Several of his apprentices work with him on major commissions. He also mentors through the Minnesota State Arts Board in the Folk Art Apprenticeship program. One of his past pupils through this program is Mary Van Abberna, who is now a full time wood and stone carver in South Carolina. Konstantinos regularly demonstrates carving at many venues, including schools, cultural festivals, and the Minnesota State Fair.
Konstantinos makes his home in Minneapolis, MN. When not carving, Konstantinos enjoys spending time fishing, and with his cherished family.