Photo: Kirk Rademaker
In 1997, Kirk Rademaker quit his job at a construction company to fully devote his time doing something he loves: building sandcastles.Take one look at his sand architecture and you’ll understand how his work has taken him all over the world.
“Dump 20 tons of sand in front of Kirk Rademaker and he’s a happy man,” writes Jordan Robertson at the San Francisco Chronicle.
Although he received recognition shortly after pursuing his sand passion, Rademaker had to endure a significant pay cut at first — only making $35,000 annually in the beginning compared to his $50,000 salary at the construction company.
Now he makes 30 per cent more than what he was making. His rates vary depending on individual projects and assignments.
We stumbled upon Rademaker’s web site and contacted him for permission to share his work.
With simple tools—such as Marshalltown trowels and liquitex pallet knives—Rademaker creates extravagant sand sculptures with slopes, arches and intricate details that can extend as tall as 10 feet. There are renaissance castles, but he also includes futuristic themes in a lot of his work with engines and machines.
He tells us it usually takes around one week to finish a piece, but his creations in Portugal took three weeks and he spent one month in Turkey carving a large castle.
All that hard work usually lasts for a few months before the remnants are washed away; however, his project in Portugal was preserved for two years.
To give the sculptures a more lasting finish like “paint holds a car up,” Rademaker sprays a mixture of water and Elmer’s glue as a coating against the weather.
He attributes his success to “practice.”
A simple tactic for such extravagant work.
To remember Christopher Columbus' death 500 years later, this sculpture was created in Valladolid, Spain. It looks like a modernized anchor to us
This sculpture was created for the World Championship competition in Hot Springs, British Columbia in 2003. The entire sculpture was hand-stacked
With one levee of sand about 9 feet high and 35 feet long, Rademaker and around 60 other carvers made this Italian Renaissance piece in Belgium in 2004
In the same year, Rademaker traveled to South Padre Island and created this sculpture which looks like a time machine
In 2005, Rademaker created this amazing replica of the Lawrence Hall of Science at Berkeley University, California
This creation on Hampton Beach, New Hampshire in 2007 looks like something out of science-fiction war movie
Rademaker carved this 'rear derailer' for a party at the American Steel Building in West Oakland in 2009
This piece done in Rorschach, Switzerland with colleague Helena Bangert has a carving of an open mouth — enclosed by hands — yelling at a human figure
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