sand sculpture by sandy feet

competitive sand sculpture photos


The Travel Channel's Sand Blasters 2006

Location: San Diego, CA

Date: Dec., 2005

Team: "Women in Black"

Teammate: Suzanne Altamare

Particulars: This was the first episode of Sand Blasters: The Extreme Sand Sculpting Championship -- a contest with a twist -- every few hours a sculpture would be randomly chosen to be blown up.

Blowing up sand sculpture? WTF? (Keep scrolling down to read my blog entry how I ultimately dealt with this weird concept...)

This was my first team sculpture invite since losing my regular partner. Where to turn? My first instinct was to try and recruit Kirk Rademaker - ex-boyfriend and former sandsculpting partner. But he was already spoken for, having arranged to team up with Carl Jara to form Team Grain Damaged.

Suz was my second choice and she proved to be a splendid alternative. We didn't place in the money but we had -- a blast! This woman is always upbeat, always cheerful and brimming with mischief. (She is also an extremely talented sculptor.)

Sadly, I don't have a lot of photos of our piece. I thought it was a fun concept: the thristy guy crawling through the cacti looks up to see a beautiful mermaid awash in an ocean of sealife and holding a jug of... whatever. Perhaps this is a theme I will revisit in a future sculpture.

Pondering Exploding Sand - by sandy feet

As you might imagine, I have heard a fair amount of feedback on Sunday night's airing of "Sand Blasters." Just today the gentleman who stocks the shelves at the Blue Marlin rushed over to shake my hand and tell me he had really enjoyed the show, even if it was kind of strange that they blew everything up. And the husband/dad of the young family to whom I gave a sandcastle lesson exclaimed, "We watched that show! It was fantastic! But why did they have to blow the sculptures up??!!"

I totally understand the dismay -- when you work as hard as I and my fellow sculptors have done to understand why sand stands and how to make it stand even taller and longer so you can carve it prettier, blowing sculptures up intentionally seems more than just a little bit... demented.

But I have been thinking about this stuff ever since we filmed the thing back in December and I think I understand why any serious delving into the crazy world of serious sandsculpting has to end in explosions or fireworks or crash landings or elephant stompings or something like that. And it's not just because people who spend large swaths of time creating sandsculptures are a little... okay, demented.

I have often said (and have written more often still) that a sandsculpture's temporary nature is a large part of its charm. They all crumble eventually, and watching them erode slowly and gracefully in nature is a poetic and life-enhancing experience--

But WHO HAS THE TIME FOR IT? Most of us don't. We want to see the tide or an explosive charge take it out. Give us that cathartic rush!

I hear that the show got pretty good ratings and there is already talk of another episode. Of course people ask, "would you do it again?" and of course my answer is "you better believe it !" and "pleasepleaseplease let me push the plunger this time!"

Many of these photos were taken by Greg LeBon

it worked! (we didn't get blasted until the very end)

watch the "teaser"

"Mirage" by Team Women in Black

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