Category Archives: Sand Sculptures

Friday Castle

Being all caught up with work on Friday, I was able to spend the entire day at the beach with Ellen and her family. I decided it was time to do a large sand sculpture, the first of the summer (and perhaps the last). I marked out a roughly square area and dug around it to begin a mound. Not having any real inspiration, I decided to just go with a standard castle. Once the mound was begun and a platform packed down, I dug a round hole to reach water and really wet sand. Zach is standing in it here. Using double handfuls of this sand slurry I added further to the mound.

When the pile was large enough I started carving away, making a central manor with a tall tower, and an inner bailey wall with towers at each corner. The central tower was flat on top originally, but looked kind of bare, so I made the pyramid top separately and placed it on. In the background are two small towers Zach made.

Here’s the finished castle after about four hours of work. I added an outer bailey wall with four corner towers and two smaller ones at mid points. The one on the right is meant to be an entrance gate. Windows were added with small scoops, and I dug out the space between the outer bailey and the inner bailey, adding to the height of the latter. This was all I had time for. If I had another hour I might have tried adding crenellations to the walls and towers by making a smooth slab of wet sand and cutting tiny cubes from it. Maybe next time.

Another view looking landward. Late afternoon light always adds a bit of drama to the shapes and shadows.

Another shot featuring Zach’s two auxiliary towers. It was time to go home, so I filled in the large hole as much as I could to prevent walkers from stepping into it by accident, and left the castle to its fate. In about another hour the tide would reach it, and if that or destructive kids didn’t finish it off, the beach rakers would that night. It’s an ephemeral art, but one I enjoy.

Sand Castle and Sea Serpent

When Ellen’s family is here they usually do a bit of sand sculpture at the beach, and I join in if I have time. I haven’t gotten to the beach much this year, but on Thursday I admired this tower by Zach and castle by Ann and Ellen.

The tide was coming in, but I just had time to add this Sea Serpent in front of the castles. Perhaps we’ll have time to do more today or tomorrow before they head home.

More Sand Sculptures 2011

Wrapping up this year’s beach sculptures, first with two done a few weeks ago when Tim was here and we spent a few hours at the beach. I carved this star in a flattened patch of sand, it’s about six inches across, I think. Carving out is harder than it looks because you have to remove all the sand too.

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Another Really BIG Sand Castle

This weekend my friend Tim and his son Gabe were visiting. We always go to the beach, weather permitting, and do some king of sand sculpture. Over the years Tim has continued to gather tools and knowledge about it, and we’ve all honed our skills, even though we don’t use them often. Sunday we spent the whole day working on a very large castle. Tim brought roofing paper (which is a kind of tar paper I think) to make forms with, and we filled a large form, then a smaller one on top of that, as above, with Gabe and I shoveling sand and carrying water while Tim stomped and packed the sand, keeping it all well soaked. The technique worked surprisingly well, and it’s one of the new ideas Tim found in this book:

which I recommend to anyone interested in sand sculpture. You can find a link to it below.

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Sand Castling 2011

Ellen’s sister Ann and other family members have been here all week, going to the beach whenever the uncertain weather permitted, and one of their activities is building sand castles and other things that defy description, like the one on the left! I believe that one is by Dave, Ann’s husband, while Ann and Ellen and Zach worked on the other.

Here’s another from a different day that I like even better, especially when surrounded by a real moat as it is here. I think this was also a group effort.

I made it to the beach one afternoon and created this twin-towered sculpture with an impossible-looking bridge between the two. There was a trick to that…I found a sturdy stick that I embedded in the middle.

Here’s a more dramatic shot. They always look bigger with the ocean in the background.

And if you should see this when you look up from your castling, you know it’s time to pack up and go home!