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Creativity and craft - building sand castles

Sand Castles
My friend Alvin Lee is "Mr Sand-Castle" He invented a toolkit to build sand-castles and teaches enables people how to use it have fun on the beach. He invited us yesterday to join him at the East Coast park for his weekly sand-castle building session. Anthony, Ernest and me gave Ida a much needed break by disappearing to the beach for the whole afternoon. It takes a child about 30 seconds to get exited about sand castles and Anthony and Ernest were carrying buckets of seawater to wet the sand, dig up big sand hills and forming towers, walls, bridges. The joining adults took 10 times longer to get into the mood, but after 5 minutes the corner of the beach looked very much like "Camelot under construction with" a lot of busy people working at something.
While I was creating my share (a mix of the great wall of China with Rome's colosseum), I realized some important facts:
  • First of all, you need to focus on what you do otherwise the sand will simply not do what you want.
  • Second, that focus comes automatically once you have the vision what you want to do. As long as you visualize your outcome the focus is there.
  • Third, you need to have the right tools and skills. Dreaming up something will stay a dream until you got the skills to make it happen. Sand doesn't care about your smart talk or powerpoint skills. When you shovel it up it will fall down in a ratio 1:4. For one meter hight you need a 4 meter base. You want to make sand behave different? Know it very well: the granularity, the moist, the density and how it reacts with your tools.
  • Forth, skills need practise. Even if you are good in concepts and theory, I won't get you anywhere. The only thing is to get your hands dirty and try, ask a master to accept your apprenticeship and practise,  practise, practise. Seems to be on the list of endangered species these days.

Posted by on 27 March 2005 | Comments (3) | categories: Singapore


  1. posted by sophia on Sunday 10 September 2006 AD:

    I have been trying to get in touch with Alvin Lee, Can you send me his email address or phone number.

    Thanks for the help in advance:)

    - Regards
  2. posted by Kelly on Thursday 02 October 2008 AD:
    Hello! I love sandcastles! Emoticon kiss.gif Emoticon cheesy.gif Emoticon laugh.gif Emoticon wink.gif Emoticon embarassed.gif
  3. posted by jiya on Wednesday 02 December 2009 AD:
    good Emoticon biggrin.gif Emoticon tongue.gif Emoticon huh.gif Emoticon laugh.gif Emoticon rolleyes.gif Emoticon wink.gif