April 16, 2005 6:54 PM   Subscribe

seriously, your sandcastle sucks
posted by elemenopee (29 comments total)
Those are amazing. Thanks.
posted by mervin_shnegwood at 7:00 PM on April 16, 2005

posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 7:17 PM on April 16, 2005

My old Santa Cruz friend, Jim Deneven, would always amaze us with his work of scale when dealing with sand.
posted by rodo at 7:26 PM on April 16, 2005

your sandcastle sucks

... but all I had to work with was a crushed paper cup and a plastic spoon....
posted by LeLiLo at 7:27 PM on April 16, 2005

Or, if you prefer your amazing creations in the winter, there's stuff like this
posted by birdsquared at 7:30 PM on April 16, 2005

posted by MrLint at 7:40 PM on April 16, 2005

how do they do this stuff? I mean for example this one should fall.
posted by H. Roark at 8:00 PM on April 16, 2005

I respect the technical skill that went into these, but many of them are pretty ugly. I mean, was this one really necessary? I like the architectural ones best.
posted by painquale at 8:09 PM on April 16, 2005

well, I can scratch that off my list of things I want to do on the beach...
very very nice link, thanks.
posted by Busithoth at 8:13 PM on April 16, 2005

how do they do this stuff? I mean for example this one should fall.

I don't know about these guys, but I've seen tv clips of competitive sand sculptors using sprayable fixative, but I don't know if that actually helps to hold things together that much (might just be to stop little bits from blowing off in high wind).
posted by juv3nal at 8:15 PM on April 16, 2005

I mean, was this one really necessary?

For a moment, I thought it was a wedge of cheese and the kid was wearing a cheesehead hat. And I was very sad that Wisconsin cheesehead culture had made it into sand sculpting art.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:16 PM on April 16, 2005

This kind of thing makes me feel very, very sad that I have no talent whatsoever.
posted by ColdChef at 8:22 PM on April 16, 2005

painquale, these are professionals -- no doubt the local McDonald's hired them to do that sculpture in front of their store. As such, consider this a portfolio. Certainly most of them seem to have been done for hire in various commercial settings.

I think this is one of those play ethic things.
posted by dhartung at 8:44 PM on April 16, 2005

Note that they call what they do sand sculptures, not castles. I'm with painquale, I'd like to see the technical chops directed towards buildings, so lelilo and I could compare their stuff with what we can do.
posted by skyscraper at 9:03 PM on April 16, 2005

Elmer's glue mixed in with wet sand and/or a dilute solution sprayed on afterwards. Such types of white glue are water soluable and bio-degradable so that the sculptures eventually will turn back into a pile of sand.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 9:06 PM on April 16, 2005

Off Topic, but I just recently realized how dark the elmer's glue logo is.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:34 PM on April 16, 2005

On Elmer's name and logo:
Shortly thereafter, the glue was repositioned under the name "Elmer's Glue-All", after Elmer, the spouse of Borden's corporate symbol, Elsie the cow.
Sounds bad for old Elmer, but then there's this:
Do you use animals when making glue?

No, Elmer's does not use animals or animal parts to make glue. Our products are made from synthetic materials and are not derived from processing horses, cows or any other animals.
I guess the
posted by ahughey at 11:11 PM on April 16, 2005

I guess the logo isn't quite as dark as you may think.
posted by ahughey at 11:11 PM on April 16, 2005

And strangely, it's made of cow-free polyvinyl acetate. It's rather like a tuna can with a picture of a dolphin on the lid.
posted by jewzilla at 11:13 PM on April 16, 2005

Yeah, dhartung, I'm sure the sculpture was commissioned (this one too), but did they have to make it so ugly? Many of the others aren't much better. Some are beautiful, but most others....

It'd be pretty cool to come across this one on a beach.
posted by painquale at 11:27 PM on April 16, 2005

I came across the world of pro (actually more like semi-pro) sandcastle builders a few years ago. There are a few of them who actually make a living doing it:

"We are the Sons of the Beach (SoBs) of South Padre Island, Texas and we have acquired a small amount of fame in our tiny fishpond - mostly by creating eye-catching sand sculpture.
We really know how to have fun on the beach and in a sand box. In fact, we can have fun any place there's sand. And the good news is that you can find sand just about anywhere.

Not content to keep all the fun to ourselves, we are constantly searching for new ways to spread it around, either by displaying our skills or passing them on to others.We've written a book on how to build a better sand castle, designed and manufactured a set of sand carving tools to go with it and taught literally thousands of beach lovers how to build a better sand castle. Our team of world-class master sculptors has built demo sculptures all over the planet. We specialize in beach wedding sand sculpture and we also offer a fun service to meeting planners - corporate team building exercises - on South Padre Island beaches.

We do some other things too - all of them fun."
--Sons of the Beach

Here's a listing of talented sandsculptors along with their websites -- http://www.sandcastlecentral.com/sclptrs/lessons.html. Enjoy.
posted by Devils Slide at 11:27 PM on April 16, 2005

I read about this in Ranger Rick years and years ago, I believe.
posted by scrim at 11:29 PM on April 16, 2005

Oh, and for the best of the best check out the contest photos (btw it hasn't been updated for a couple of years)

posted by Devils Slide at 11:55 PM on April 16, 2005

I used to live in Santa Cruz. One summer there was an amazing sandbar in Cowells's Cove. There was sand stretching out to the middle of the cove. The sand gave us snappy little inside waves near shore and long, long waves from the mouth of the cove to the beach. The best thing it gave us was waves in the middle of summer when the ocean is supposed to be dead flat. One of the oddities that appeared with that magic sand were sand drawings. Some were primitive. Some were elaborate and large. I never really thought about who did them. Thank you rodo for giving me a hint to the solution of a mystery I didn't even know I had wandering around in the back of my mind.
posted by rdr at 12:17 AM on April 17, 2005

The artists invest so much in these......knowing they have a short shelf life. A bit like the sidewalk chalk artists. That must be so ummm.....affecting or disturbing or or sad or something.
What ColdChef said.

Nice link elemenopee, thanks.
posted by peacay at 3:09 AM on April 17, 2005

dutch yearly contest:
they use only sand and water. it's sand from a river and has a plated structure (where sea-sand is granular) and is much more solid.. no fixatives.. It can stan through rain and storm but no drunk morons ;)
belgian wild west skultures :S
posted by borq at 6:43 AM on April 17, 2005

some people have too much time on their hands. others live near beaches. where these two groups colide, castles like this are formed.

I'm impressed. today all I plan on doing is looking at the web.
posted by RightsaidFRED at 7:37 AM on April 17, 2005

Peacay: if you are looking for a less depressing way to think about it, do some research on Buddhist Sand Mandalas.


"To symbolize impermanence (a central teaching of Buddhism), after many weeks or months of creating the intricate pattern, the entire work is usually placed in a body of running water to spread the blessings of the Mandala."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:46 PM on April 18, 2005

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