Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sand Sculpting

I don't quite get the drive to sculpt sand into fantastical shapes by my hat's off to the artists  who can turn sand into these astonishing shapes. And then tear them down...
The beach at the Casa Marina Resort is the location this weekend of this competition and I stopped by yesterday for a quick look on my way to work and it was well worth the detour. The weather lately has been perfect, a mixture of hot sun, fresh breezes, no humidity and deep blue skies. So standing around under the palms admiring the artists was no trouble at all. Actually I rather wanted a room number and someone to bring me a gin and tonic as I wandered around the people slicing and smoothing sand.
I have a friend in California who is a sculptor and talking to him about his creations, often cast in metal, the story I get is one of intense physical labor as much as artistic inspiration and the need to overcome technical obstacles like smelting metal and casting and refining the artwork. Sculpture requires base technical skills in large quantities and you can see this working with sand as well.
I love how the creations arise out of the sand, a particular well suit type which is imported from Miami and  stacked in forms then wetted down to create a true block as though of marble. Then instead of chipping the artists slice and smooth with builder's tools.
 It all looks very solid...
 ...and that is an illusion:
 Tremendous patience and an eye for detail:
There is a time limit according to the newspaper of 30 hours for the artists to sculpt their 100 tons of Miami sand. In deference to the deadline I suppose there was not much conversation going on and no banter between the doers and the watchers. Indeed I saw a lot of headphones and earbuds deployed to keep us watchers at a solid arm's length from the creators.
They were all business.
I heard a parent trying to explain the duality of impermanent life and permanent death to a small child. One more reason I figured I am designed to be child-free.

It is astonishing to see these figures emerging from their sand cocoons and the crowds wandering around did rather detract from one's ability to contemplate. I suppose I could have used ear buds myself!
I wondered what these figures would look like under the nearly full moon bathing the Keys in silver light this weekend...
 And slowly the figures emerge  from the boxed sand lumps.
 It was quite the setting for...
 ...the competition.
 Not too many hours left to finish.
And then destruction. Weird.