Category Archives: Sand

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.

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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The Art of Tibetan Sand Painting

Can you imagine spending several hours, days, or even weeks on a work of art, and then destroying it? The idea of creating something only to wipe it out when you’re finished is illogical and counterproductive to many people in the Western world. But in some cultures, this is a common procedure, and one that serves a deeper purpose than meets the eye.

Sand painting is the perfect example of ephemeral art – that is, art that is meant to be temporary. To create a sand painting, colored sand is poured carefully into predetermined patterns. Sand painting is a common practice amongst many diverse indigenous cultures from around the world, including the Australian Aborigines, the Native Americans, and the Tibetans, as shown above.

Tibetan sand painting is a perfect example of making art that values “process” over “product”. In the Western world, it’s often the opposite – artists labor over paintings for the purpose of selling them for profit. The art, even though it may be a labor of love, is also a “product”. The “process” of making art is treated as a means to an end.

In Tibetan sand painting, the process of creating the intricate sand mandalas is far more important than the final product. Tibetan sand paintings are created by Buddhist monks for ritual purposes related to healing and blessing. As the sand mandalas are painstakingly created, viewers are often allowed to watch and admire the precision of the artists and the beauty of the design.

Destroying the finished sand mandalas contains a ritual purpose as well; it is a lesson on impermanence. Perhaps artists from Western cultures can benefit from some of these ideas by paying closer attention to the process of making art, rather than worrying about how the final product will turn out.

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