Brutalist Sandcastles

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Calvin Seibert makes modernist sandscastles on Coney Island. At Little Atoms, Caroline Christie interviewed him about his remarkable creations.

I like making things and tend to work with whatever is at hand. Building sandcastles at a beach to me is a very natural thing to be doing. As a child, I saw photographs of the French ski resort of Flaine. I was very taken by the brutalist buildings, designed by Marcel Breuer. Since then I have always gone out of my way to see brutalist architecture and when I build sandcastles I have them in mind.

Technique:

A five-gallon paint bucket is essential. Paint buckets are particularly rigid and have a nice sharp edge for digging with. Then it is used for carrying water. Lots and lots of water. The tools are all made of plastic. I have a couple that are nothing more than a small rectangle of 1/8-inch plastic with a beveled edge and then a couple of trowels of different sizes.

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Video: HOWTO make waterproof sand at home

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YouTuber IncredibleScience has a great at-home science project that's kid-friendly: making waterproof sand. Read the rest

Video of sand grain microphotography

Last week, Cory posted about Dr. Gary Greenberg's marvelous microscope photography of sand grains. Greenberg literally wrote the book on sand grain microphotography, titled A Grain of Sand: Nature's Secret Wonder. Above, is a beautiful video promo for the 2008 book. Read the rest