Many Takoradi inhabitants assume Richard Darko is a carpenter. He moulds their tables and chairs and fixes what is broken as every carpenter does. However, the calm artisan is more than just what many know him for.
The owner of Ridark Creative Ventures is a woodcarver whose works have been sold globally to varied customers. Married with 4 children, Richard Darko has been carving for decades even though he had no formal training in this field.
“I started learning carving from my father in 1990 and subsequently worked with him for 5 years. I have been working for myself since 1995 to date,” he told Scribe News.
Today, Richard Darko has taken his father’s business a notch higher. He has a wide collection of carved products that serve clients who have a good taste for artifacts. On the Takoradi John Sarbah road, opposite Star of the Sea Cathedral, he has his workspace located on the VAG West premises where he creates all the magic with his hands.
What sets the fine wood carver apart from others is his ability to build musical instruments, especially world class guitars. Produced locally but with a global appeal, his guitars have been used on so many prestigious platforms. Richard Darko’s love for guitars emanated from his love for church work.
“In two years, I learnt how to play the bass guitar to help in church. Out of this passion, I was urged to build acoustic guitars to help others also know how to play,” the carpenter said.
He continued, “Particularly, I was inspired to build acoustic guitars when on one occasion I bought something wrapped with a foreign newspaper and as I read through, I saw a woodcarver who learnt how to play the guitar and, thereafter, started building his own guitars. This was an inspiration for me to do the same.”
For years, Richard Darko has repaired both acoustic and electric guitars aside building his. He has taught many music lovers how to play the guitar as well.
As to what inspires Richard Darko to do what he does, he had this to say, “Whatever your hands find to do, do with all your heart, hands and mind.”