‘Drifthenge’ installed at Montessori School

The first of its kind, a handmade playground climber was recently completed at Santa Fe Montessori School in Solana Beach by Nancy Moran’s company Nature Works.

The company is best known for its faux botanical projects for places including the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld.

Called “Drifthenge,” the climber was made by Moran and business partner Valerie Salatina. It has the look of genuine driftwood, but is actually made of Schedule 40 steel piping overlaid with epoxy and carved to look like wood. It is sanded smooth.

“We use our own epoxy recipe,” Moran said, “and we have to work fast — it only takes 30 minutes until it’s hard as rock.”

Embedded in the sculpture is a collection of items — geodes, scrimshaw, glass beads, and other items to engage the young climbers who 20 feet by 34 feet, creating ample room for lots of enthusiastic children.