About D'Sculpted - The origin story

Following a successful career as a Design and Technology teacher, after 28 years Darren found that the mental and physical demands of a fulltime teaching roll, coupled with challenges of reconciling an overly prescriptive curriculum with a creative design approach were too stressful. It was time to leave and find a new career path that would allow him to pursue his need to design and make with fewer constraints. 

In theory he wanted to do something creative, working for himself in a way that was as ecologically and environmentally sound as possible. In practice he needed to make a living. It’s important to stress that Darrens continued success is only possible with the support of his wife –who remains in full time education- and two teenage children. Long hours of work and weekends taken up with markets and shows bring new challenges and also exciting new opportunities. 


For low cost, raw materials, Darren began to visit local businesses and – with permission – salvage anything that looked useful. While he experimented with bespoke outdoor furniture and decking ideas, he also began to make insect refuges using old pallet wood as they seemed to tick the environmental and ecological boxes. Although basic in shape, he would spend his time on the composition of the fillings so that customers could choose a particular product based on the pattern within the organic fillings. This gave each one a uniqueness that seemed to strike a chord with customers. The first few were sold so more were created, each time the composition of the fillings would develop in complexity. 


Darren had a thought,” Wouldn’t it be good to make a bug house that looked like a bug?” 


He decided this would be too time consuming to make in pallet wood due to all the necessary jointing. He had salvaged a variety of metal offcuts and canisters so, decided to use these. A self-taught welder – still learning every day – Darren created his first metal bug, based around an idea for a bee.  

The very first dual-purpose sculpture with integral insect refuge was created. Darren still sees the recipient of this in Romsey, the original, metal sculpture with insect refuge by D’Sculpted. 

 Darrens work continues to develop in both size and complexity, he is enjoying the challenges of using reclaimed materials with their inherent forms to create unique and unusual works of art. He accepts commissions, working in 100% reclaimed stainless and mild steels, all sourced from local industry. These can be designed and made with or without the integral insect refuge although generally, customers insist on the sculpture and insect refuge combination as this one of the things that makes Darrens work totally original.