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By Chijioke Anosike
What do you get when you mix exotic wood with a man who lives for attention to detail? You get In The Grain, Darren Appiagyei’s, product design company which specialises in bespoke wooden pieces to cater to your tastes.


In The Grain is a design company which aim is to give unique experiences through wood.

One of the key components of In The Grain is the exploration of exotic woods, with there being an emphasis on analysis, malleability and understanding of material in order to create a functional object.

The Man Behind the Wood

Born and raised in South London, Darren’s pieces meticulously bring together contemporary styles with exotic classic designs. All of his pieces are designed, carved and crafted in his Cockpit Arts Deptford workshop where his passion is materialised.

We caught up with Darren to see where he gets his inspiration from.

Darren: “I would say I get my inspiration from nature, it’s intrinsic beauty, its rawness and unforgiving nature.”

Darren is of Ghanaian descent so we asked him if his heritage influences his designs

Darren: “In The Grain is highly inspired by Ghanaian wood carving the rawness, exploration of texture and spiritual significance associated with every piece made.”

It’s clear Darren likes what nature has to offer, especially woods, some of Darren’s favourite woods to work with are the African Blackwood, Banksia nut, cork oak, Cat paw oak and many other woods.

Still trying to get the root of his passion, we asked him why wood design is his chosen craft.

Darren: “I find woodturning very therapeutic, starting from scratch with a piece of wood in it’s natural state and just embracing the wood for what it is, shaping and carving the wood to complement its beauty.”

There is a beauty in creation, imagining something and using your skills to physically bring this conception to life. Darren is clearly passionate about the power of creation.

Darren is about to begin his summer tours, exhibiting around London.

Where to see him next?

Over the week Darren and his exotic pieces will be at the following places:

Wednesday 27th June 2018 – Top 100 1 Year In – Islington

Thursday 28th June 2018 – Top 100 1 Year In – Islington

Friday 29th June 2018 – Top 100 1 Year In – Islington


With all these dates to catch Darren we wanted to ask what can people expect at his exhibitions

Darren: “I think what people can expect is a collection of bowls and vessels demonstrating beauty, which doesn’t have to be refined, polished or neat. That there is so much beauty in the rawness of wood, the wonders of wood is amazing we just have to embrace it.”

Darren answers all of his questions with such grace and vigour, a true artist in every sense of the word. So we had to try and throw him off with our last question by asking what came first the seed or the tree.

Darren: “The seed is the thought, with a thought nothing can be developed!”


He doesn’t disappoint come along to find out what makes In The Grain a cut above the rest.


Paula Melissa xx

Paula Melissa is a digital content creator, portrait photographer and freelance journalist. Since starting a blog in 2012 and graduating from the University of Sheffield with a Journalism Studies with Employment Experience degree in 2019, Paula has gone on to create and grow her own dynamic digital media empire. She loves reading, eating and spending time with her dog, Rolfie.
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