This Man Quit His Job To Become A Professional Sandcastle Maker

sandcastles

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.

Click here to see his sandcastles > 

“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.

Rademaker spent a month carving out this sand castle in Antalya, Turkey

To remember Christopher Columbus' death 500 years later, this sculpture was created in Valladolid, Spain. It looks like a modernized anchor to us

This sandcastle in Revere Beach, Massachusetts was the envy of every kid in 2001

Rademaker created this piece in St. George, Utah in 2001

This sculpture of a human figure driving an engine stood in Quebec City in 2001

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

Then he returned to South Padre Island and created this:

This creation on Hampton Beach, New Hampshire in 2007 looks like something out of science-fiction war movie

This Gothic-like sand building was created in 2007 in Vienna, Austria

This piece was created in 2007 for the Lubeznik centre for Art in Michigan City, Indiana

This amazing piece was created in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the same year

In 2008, he created this movie-themed sculpture in Fiesta, Portugal

Another beautiful sculpture done in Portugal

In 2009, Rademaker teamed up with colleague Bouke Atema for this carving in Virginia Beach

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

In 2010, Rademaker returned to Switzerland and teamed up with Bangert again for this arching piece

Now see how bad things can get when you don't work for yourself:

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