Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This Castle Needs a Forever Home - updates from the sandcastle trail


And so the plan evolves....

I was betting a lot on that mermaid. I spent a lot of time on her. I took things slow, pouring lots of diluted glue into the form to give her a decent shot at setting up quick enough to foil the vandals. I carved her head, and waited, letting them pick at her and patiently repairing every indignity they bestowed upon her. I fenced her in. I posted a pleading sign - "Thanks for not touching." I pressed tumbled glass into her tail to make it sparkle in the sunlight. After she was finished, I sprayed her good -- and almost as soon as I walked away, they took her out. 
Destruction was pretty much complete.

It kinda sorta felt like murder. I grieved. 
And then I pondered...

I had done everything I could think of - short of posting a guard 24/7 - to keep this sculpture around long enough to develop the protective shell she needed to get called “semi-permanent” -- and it wasn’t enough. Is it time to give up on my idea of a Sand Castle Trail for South Padre Island? 

Nope. Not yet. Because I have experienced just enough success to convince me that there is a way to do this!

Here is what I Have Learned:

  1. The sculptures that have lasted have been the ones built in yards, tucked into landscaped corners, and created in a park that hardly anyone knows about or visits (the SPI Butterfly Garden.)
  2. After a month or two of curing, the sculptures become so hardened that they will stand up to a fair amount of abuse. 
  3. High-traffic areas on public property are just not good sites for these sculptures. More people get to see them in such areas, sure. But the terrorists are too numerous, too thoughtless, too darned mean.
  4. Private, commercial and/or off-the-beaten-path locations are better. Make people seek them out. Make 'em look at the site, print up the map. Make them think twice about destroying private property.


Conclusions:

To give the sculptures their best chance, they must be protected while they are curing. 
They will cure faster if they are smaller. 
They will be molested less if they are on private property.
I can best protect them while they cure if they are located in my fenced-in back yard. 
If I am going to have to move them, they have to be light-weight and either relatively small or modular so that they can be reassembled in their final resting spots.

This Castle Needs a Home!
Voila! A prototype! This castle stands about 21 inches tall. It has a styrofoam core to reduce its weight -- I am pegging it somewhere between 10 and 20 pounds. When it has throughly dried and hardened, it can safely (I hope believe!) be moved to some sort of pedestal or perhaps it can become part of a larger castle to be installed in some sort of semi-private or commercial location -- which will become the next stop on the SandCastle Trail

(The pedestal could be just about anything -- a piece of wood, a rock, a planter -- or it could be made of sand, with a name or whatever carved into it.)

So all I need now is a good place to put this little castle -- and that is where you come in. I am going to give this sculpture away to a good home. If you can suggest “the perfect spot” for this castle, please do so - ASAP. I will take all suggestions into consideration and -- once the castle becomes solid enough to move (which could be in just a week or two thanks to the sunshine and hard, dry wind we are currently experiencing) -- I will install it in its new location and we will see how it fares. Deal?

Please send a description and - if possible - a photo of a good spot for this castle to spisandy@gmail.com at the earliest opportunity -- thanks!

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