Category Archives: Sand Castles

Summer Sand Castle Challenge

Summer Sand Castle ChallengeAre you looking to spend a lot of time outdoors this summer? Do you want to combine fun, physical activity with creative art projects? Have you thought about visiting a beach?

Building sand castles is the epitome of summer fun. If you think sand castles are child’s play, think again. Some adults make the most of this summer hobby by taking time to create sandy sculptures of fine art. With advice from a pro, you too can use sand as an art medium.

This year, challenge yourself to create the biggest and best castle you can. Use this article to help you combine summer fun and creative expression. Let’s first get some advice from a professional sand artist.

Kirk Rademaker – Professional Sand Artist

Kirk Rademaker is a carpenter by trade. He made his living by working with wood but spent his weekends building massive sand sculptures for fun. The longer he worked at his hobby, the more impressive his sculptures became.

These days, Kirk earns his big paychecks by creating one-of-a-kind sand sculptures. He designs unique sculptures for private parties, business events, and birthdays. Some of his unique art has even been used for Hollywood movie premiers and contracted by famous people like Dustin Hoffman.

Tips for Building Your Own Sand Sculptures

You may not be a master like Kirk Rademaker yet, but if you are inspired by his story, and interested in creating unique sand sculptures, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Always use moist sand – sand from the tide line is suggested.
  • Create a mound of densely packed wet sand – there is no such thing as too much water.
  • Work from top to bottom – it is easier to take sand away then to add it.
  • Purchase a sand castle kit – this will include the tools you need to carve fine detail into your sculptures.

If you live near a beach or plan to travel to a tropical climate, try taking on the summer sand castle challenge. Segmation is interested in seeing pictures of your sand castles. Be sure to snap a shot with your phone or camera and share it with us on Facebook.

In the United States there are many official sand castle competitions that take place throughout the year. Attending one of these shows is an excellent way to expose yourself to unique art.

Where have you seen creativity expressed this way? What did you think of artwork made from the medium of sand.

Summer is the season to be outside, active, and creative.  Whatever art projects you take on this season, be sure they are one of a kind.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Creative Summer Activities:

From Sand Castles to Sand Sculptures

Beach Fun

Create Fun, Everyday Art by Tie Dying

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Image made available by  Joe Dsilva on Flickr through Creative Common Licenses.

Catch a Wave

American recording artists, the Beach Boys said it best; “Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world.”

Is this how surfing feels? The mighty energy of water folding under one’s feet must be exhilarating, and there is no doubt that it mimics the sensation of sitting on top of the world. But how many people really get to experience this sensation?

Not only is it challenging, it’s a rather limiting exercise, especially considering one’s location may prohibit their access to these energetic waves. That’s why people living in places like Hawaii, California, and Australia are more likely to take up this activity, while those in landlocked regions don’t necessarily have the option. However, the sight of an individual climbing the wall of a crashing wave is alluring to almost everyone. This is why it has become such a popular setting in paintings, photographs, and even movies.

Paintings

There are many ways of painting a wave. Some artists like to paint them as precise as possible, down to the fine detail of the ocean spray. Others, make the art more abstract. However, one thing is necessary when painting a wave– it has to be inspired by the energy of the water.

Surf artist Peter Pierce says that his wave art is, “… inspired by the actual act of riding quality waves. Likewise, the true ‘surf artist’ understands the rareness/value of quality waves via living a life passionately devoted to the pursuit of such waves… ”

Therefore, Pierce paints waves because he knows how to ride waves. But people can also “ride a wave” from the comfort of their beach chair, and capture a similar energy with their paint brush.

Photography

Capturing this energy with a photograph is a bit more challenging. The surf culture itself is very active, and to keep up with the waves, and people riding them, one must be quick to point and shoot.

With the speed and force of rising and falling water, the active lifestyle of surfers and surf artists can be down-right-dangerous. In fact, photographers who desire to get the perfect picture oftentimes put themselves into compromising positions. In pursuit of a breathtaking image, they will put themselves into the water with the surfers but without the advantage of having a floating board (and instead happen to be carrying expensive, water-sensitive equipment).

Although, perhaps that is the price these individuals pay to do what many others cannot: Surf art photographers are able to literally catch a wave so that those who can’t surf still experience the sensation of sitting on top of the world.

Movies

Movies about surfing, and more specifically, movies about the sea creatures who live beneath these transportable waves, have been popular for quite some time. And why wouldn’t they be? A movie about surfing has many elements that a successful movie needs. This is because the active culture of surfing is inviting, crashing waves are thrilling, and the risk of danger is high.

Just this year, the most recent surfing movie, Soul Surfer, was released. With an all-star Hollywood cast and amazing cinematography, the movie captivated its audience and shared the thrill of catching a wave.

There are countless other movies that survey the surfing culture. All of them have something in common — the artistic capturing of natural scenery.

Even though many people don’t have access to large bodies of water conducive for surfing, most everyone enjoys the energy that comes from catching a wave. Whether they can actually ride a wave or just look at one, energy exudes from the image of swelling water that is on the verge of collapse. This allows surfers, artists, and observers of both, to catch a wave and sit on top of the world.

Thank you featured surf artists Peter Pierce and Trent Mitchell. If you want to know more about this art wave and craze, visit http://www.clubofthewaves.com.

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Sea Urchins have left the Beach to Inspire Art

Inspired by mythology, animals and Ernst Haeckel, Jennifer Maestre has created a beautiful, intricate and somewhat dangerous art design .

This talented artist builds 3-dimensional art with colored pencils. In fact, the South Africa native is internationally known for her creative use of these and other objects like beads, nails, and pins too.

Her color pencil designs are especially captivating because of her unique interpretation of familiar animals and plants seen in nature. She reveals how she builds the sculptures on her website. In short, she uses hundreds of pencils that are cut into 1-inch sections. Then she drills a hole in each piece, making them resemble beads. After sharpening the points she sews them together with a peyote stitch.

While this is all very interesting, there is another element to Jennifer Maestre’s art that is astounding: Her inspiration. In a statement about the sculptures, Maestre notes that the form and function of sea urchins sparked and fueled her idea. She talks about the paradox that exist between the beauty of a colorful sea urchin that invites an individual’s touch and the danger of the sharp points on its shell. With this in mind, she set out to create art with that same tension.

Maestre dose a wonderful job with this because sea urchins are dangerous yet alluring, and have sharp but beautiful shells. In fact, did you know that every ocean has sea urchins? They are known to travel in groups, with other sea urchins and those in the same echinoderm phylum family. This kin has a lot of room to move around ocean waters, considering they travel as low as 13,000 feet below sea level.

Visually speaking, the most catching characteristic of a sea urchin is its spiny shell. An interesting fact about these creatures is the name “Urchin,” which was once a common name for hedgehog. But the sea animal has dull colors and a globular form. This is makes for a clear distinction from the shrew.

In the same fashion, Jennifer Maestre’s pieces are quite different from her original source of inspiration.  Perhaps the reason why this is so, is because, as the artist says in her own words, “I’m inspired by animals, plants, other art, Ernst Haeckel, Odilon Redon, mythology. In fact, it isn’t easy to specify particular sources of inspiration. Sometimes one sculpture will inspire the next, or maybe I’ll make a mistake, and that will send me off in a new direction.”

Get a better view of Jennifer Maestre’s work on her website: www.jennifermaestre.com

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Ice Sculptures

Ice sculpture photographed by G.Goodwin Jr. and Snark

In a previous blog post we took a close look at the art of making monumental sculptures out of sand. Now let’s take a look at another natural material used to make art: ice!

Solid ice provides a compelling substance for sculptors. The ensuing artwork is ephemeral, because the ice will inevitably melt. Ice sculptors are always aware of the fleeting nature of their artwork, but at least their ice sculptures can always live on in photographs.

Although some may see ice sculptures as more of a novelty than a fine art, there’s no denying the amount of extreme craftsmanship that goes into creating an ice sculpture. There are even schools and classes that teach the art of ice sculpting, where artists can learn how to use chainsaws, hand saws and chisels to create their masterpieces.

To create an ice sculpture that doesn’t break or melt prematurely, a sculptor must become intimately aware of the qualities of ice. The ice must be frozen in just the right away to avoid impurities that may blemish the final appearance of the sculpture. Once the artist starts working, the slightest chisel in the wrong place can ruin hours of work, so careful attention and patience are necessary.

There are many ice festivals held around the world that showcase a dazzling variety of ice sculptures – from ice “castles” that are large enough to walk through, to delicate ice sculptures of mermaids with flowing hair, to modern sports stars and other celebrities. Ice sculptures are also a fun decorative addition to events such as weddings and other ceremonies.

The next time you drink soda or water with ice, just imagine how those floating ice cubes could be transformed into an astonishing work of art!

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From Sand Castles to Sand Sculptures

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Many of us have fond memories of building sand castles at the beach when we were children; overturning buckets of sand to create towers, digging out moats, and sticking seashells into the damp castle walls. Even though we weren’t consciously aware of it at the time, building sandcastles was a fun, hands-on way to express our creativity and let our imaginations run wild.

Building sand castles is not just for kids anymore! In the 1970s, the art of “sand sculpting” was born on the beaches of California, pioneered by visionaries who took the concept of sand castles several steps further by creating elaborate, detailed, breathtaking monuments out of sand. Animals, architecture and pop culture icons are common subjects for sand sculpture art, although the sky’s the limit. Sand sculptors have depicted everything from African wildlife to Greek gods and goddesses to scaled versions of the Taj Mahal.

Creating complex sand sculptures requires both technical skill and knowledge. In order to stay in place properly, the sand must be a certain consistency and contain a certain degree of moisture. Once the foundation is ready, it takes talent, time and energy to sculpt 3-D images into the sand without the sand falling to pieces. It’s no wonder that the best sand sculptors are actually professionals who get paid to create these magnificent works of art using all-natural materials.

Sand sculptures are a popular attraction on some of the world’s best beaches, from Canada to Florida to Australia. Next time you’re at the beach, why not see what you can create out of sand!

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