Close your eyes and think back to your family beach trips in the summertime. The car packed to the brim with towels, beach umbrellas and the trusty bucket that two-timed as a sandcastle mould and collector for moat water.
Let’s face it, we all thought our castles were the best while we built for hours along the sandy shoreline. Shaped liked buckets and decorated with shells, it was a jolly old time.
Tim Parsons of Chicago, Illinois really shows us how to get our ‘sandcastle on’ with a tool for today’s sand artists and architects – the Sandcastle Maker.
The tool consists of a wooden dowel that goes through the centre of the sand pile, a disc that sits on top of the sand pile and a collar that attaches the dowel to a blade that cuts a profile into the sand. It’s a sand version of the ceramic process known as “jollying”.
Parsons talked about his family history and how the design for the Sandcastle Maker was inspired by his Grandfather’s design.
“My mum tells me they were created with a device my Great-Grandfather Henry Ingham designed for them. He was the chief engineer at a spinning mill in Leigh in Lancashire, in the north of England.”
The black and white featured photo above shows his mother and family on a beach in the Isle of Wight, in the United Kingdom in 1948. By the looks of those castles, buckets weren’t in the picture.
The concentric shape of the sand castle and the tool’s range of reversible blade helps to create this smooth rounded forms. Parsons is hoping to expand his range of profiles to create an engaging installation.
The next show and opportunity for Parsons to display his sandy skill-set is a solo show at the Chicago Cultural Center in September where he plans to create a giant sandcastle landscape in the Chicago Rooms.
Additionally to the installation, Parsons is wanting to run a series of workshops that will teach people to make their own Sandcastle Maker, show them how to use it, and encourage them to see the beach as a creative space for them to make awesome sandcastles and other creative works.
The Sandcastle Maker is a great way to show the diversity of the Awesome Foundation and the different kinds of projects out there.
Think of all our golden Newcastle beaches and their endless possibilities. Got and idea? Apply for an Awesome Newcastle $1,000 grant.