Build the Perfect Sand Castle
Building the perfect sand castle is truly an art. Many of us build simple sand castles, but there are some that treat sand sculpting as an art and display considerable skill in creating stunning sand sculptures. These masters of sand sculpting even gather to participate in contests to build their masterpieces on some very notable beaches.
For the amateur sand castle builder here are a few tips to help you on your way to be coming a master of the art. If sand castle building becomes one of your hobbies you can also take lessons and workshops to improve your skills. When you are planning to build a sand castle or other sculpture, you may want to draw a sketch of your intended castle or sculpture. You could also begin building without as sketch, by simply building as you become inspired. If you get really interested in building sand sculptures you may begin sketching ideas as they come to you to use in future.
Before heading to the beach you will need to gather your tools. Master builders use a variety of carving tools, from kitchen tools to clay carving tools, as well as a trowel, brushes and more. You can assemble you own specific set of carving tools based on whatever you find works best to scrape and carve details into your sand. You will also need at least one pail, which can be used as a mold, and can be used to transport water and sand as needed. You will also need a shovel for digging out sand, preferably a small scooped shovel.
When you arrive at the beach you will need a good site on the beach to build your sand castle. The site should be near the water, but far enough away that your sand castle will not be washed away as the tide comes in. Once you have decided on a good spot you should dig out the sand until you reach the moist sand, you can also pour water on the sand to get it nice and moist. If you sand is too wet it will be like mud, but if it is too dry it won't pack well and will simply fall apart.
The first step in learning to build the perfect sand castle is learning to pack your sand properly. There are a few techniques used to pack sand, including using molds or packing it by hand. The secret to a strong sand castle is making sure that the moist sand is well compacted. As a less experienced sand sculptor you will probably start by using a packing method called "soft pack." This method involves firmly patting your moist sand into the general shape of your final sculpture. As you become more experienced you can experiment with more complex methods.
As you are packing and mounding the sand you will need to work fast. The sand needs to stay wet as you pack the sand. You can also create the towers for your sand castle by packing sand into a pail as a mold. If you are using the mold you will be adding formed sand to your general mound. To adhere the formed shape you will want to gently shake the upside down pail side-to-side to get it to settle and seal by gently pouring water over the formed sand. As you pour water be sure not to pour enough water to deform the packed sand.
After you have the general shape mounded and packed you can start forming the details. This is the point when you get to use your collection of carving tools. You can make simple details at first, just door outlines and turrets on your castle towers. As you become more experienced you can create even more detail on your sand castle. Then, as you continue your journey to becoming a master sand castle builder you can create even larger and more detailed sand castles and other sculptures.