Extreme Sandcastle Design with the Sand Guys

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Meeting the Sand Guys at World of Concrete

This week I had the privilege to watch two masters of their craft at work at World of Concrete.  Although you might guess that concrete would be the material of choice at a concrete show, the Sand Guys create masterpieces from sand.

Sand Guys at World of Concrete

Kirk Rademaker, a former carpenter and one of the Sand Guys, makes some detailed adjustments to the sand sculpture on display at the Marshalltown booth during World of Concrete 2013.

Rusty Craft and Kirk Rademaker do more than build the occasional sand castle at the beach – making the unique out of sand is their livelihood.  The two sand artists from central Monterey Bay, Calif., were on hand at the Marshalltown booth during the World of Concrete show in Las Vegas to demonstrate the creativity of the trowel. Marshalltown makes hand tools and other products for use in concrete and other masonry jobs.  The sand structure stands at the front of the company’s booth.  “Take a photo – it’s here and then it’s gone,” said Craft of Sand Guys’ projects. “It’s like good food or music.”

Sand Guys at World of Concrete

In addition to trowels and other hand tools, power tools are important to the artists because everything they produce starts with a frame that needs to be built.  “A good tool has to be an extension of your brain,” said Rademaker. “It has to feel like it’s part of your hand.” And so they’re particular about the tools they use, preferring Bosch power tools because of the those products’ great balance and ergonomic design. To further illustrate their preference for best-in-class tools, they buy their shovels direct from a manufacturer in Holland.  Rademaker sums it up this way: “It’s the world’s perfect shovel; that’s why we use it.”

Visit sandguys.com to learn more about Rusty and Kirk and to check out their projects; it makes you want to find a beach and trade in the freezing winters for warm sunshine.  You can also watch the Sand Guys on the Travel Channel on the show Sand Masters.

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Joe Sainz (Google+) is a union carpenter with experience in concrete construction, landscaping, carpentry and electrical mechanics. He currently works at Bosch Power Tools... Read more

3 comments on “Extreme Sandcastle Design with the Sand Guys

  1. John S

    that is absolutely incredible. i have never heard of those guys… isn’t part of what is so satisfying about construction is the ability to look at your work that you accomplished after a day’s/month’s/year’s hard work? it has to be somewhat sad to see their work disappear so quickly… ha

  2. Dirty

    I just love these sand creations! We here in Hawaii have a sand building contest every year. I have joined this contest with some friends and the kids and it is a blast! http://www.alohaupdate.com/2010/02/21/33rd-aias-kailua-sandcastle-contest-pictures/ This link is at my local beach park. Also at some of the major hotels they have professional sand sculptors employed and each morning their job is to build a sand sculpture on the beach at the hotel for the guest to uoo and ahhh at. The thing they create are just amazing!

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