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Sprowston man’s matchstick modelling madness

PUBLISHED: 09:17 16 September 2016 | UPDATED: 09:18 16 September 2016

Darek Kusiak from Sprowston with matchstick models.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Darek Kusiak from Sprowston with matchstick models. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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Darek Kusiak began his modelling hobby while growing up in Poland.

 Matchstick models made by Darek Kusiak from Sprowston.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher Matchstick models made by Darek Kusiak from Sprowston. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

And when he moved to Sprowston in 2006, he graduated from plastic planes to matchstick modelling.

“I started making plastic models when I was a teenager, because they were easy to get and cheap to buy,” he said. “That was 20 years ago now.”

The 39-year-old said he rediscovered his hobby when he discovered matchstick art, saying: “I thought it would be a good challenge. It’s easy to start with but you can make some amazing things.”

Part of Darek’s motivation to take up modelling again was to have a shared passion with his children. He said: “I wanted something different to do with my kids; I wanted them to have a hobby other than watching TV or playing an online game.”

Darek Kusiak from Sprowston with matchstick models and children Jakub and Julia.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher Darek Kusiak from Sprowston with matchstick models and children Jakub and Julia. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The father of three has made his art a family interest, his nine-year-old son, Jakub, is also a member of the IPMS Norfolk Scale Model Club, and joins his dad at model shows.

“I also make roses for my mother and send them home to Poland as gifts,” Mr Kusiak said. “My daughter Julia helps me with gluing the matchsticks together for them.”

“I began making matchstick roses when I was shown a picture of one, and tried to recreate it. I thought it was a challenge and would make a nice gift for people.

“My first matchstick model took me four months to make, it was an electric tram. I worked on that for an hour or two a day for four months.”

 Matchstick models made by Darek Kusiak from Sprowston.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher Matchstick models made by Darek Kusiak from Sprowston. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

His wife says she notices a difference in her husband now he’s back at modelling.

“She says it makes me calmer, it’s a really therapeutic hobby and it makes me really happy,” Darek said. “Sometimes I like to just be quiet, it teaches me patience. I’m working on four projects at the moment. I’m really motivated to do them because I want to sell one to get a trophy for it.”

Darek has already had success with his models, winning a bronze medal in the Milton Keynes scale model show in 2015 for his Express Locomotive.

Do you have an interesting hobby you would like to share? Email eleanor.pringle@archant.co.uk

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