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Sandcastle Maker

I’d like to introduce you to the "SandCastle Maker" a fun tool for today's budding sand architects. The photos attached show my Mum and her family on a beach in the Isle of Wight, in the United Kingdom in 1948. How did they make those extraordinary sand castles? There are no buckets around. My mum tells me they were created with a device my Great-Grandfather Henry Ingham designed for them. He was the chief engineer at a spinning mill in Leigh in Lancashire, in the north of England.

The tool consists of a wooden dowel that goes through the centre of the sand pile, a disc that sits on top of the sand pile and a collar that attaches the dowel to a blade that cuts a profile into the sand. It's a sand version of the ceramic process known as "jollying". Each sandcastle has a concentric shape and the tool’s range of reversible blades create a variety of forms from smooth bulbous curves to angular profiles.

As inspired by my Great-Grandfather, we need to construct a series of new sandcastle makers with a range of different profiles in order to create an impactful and engaging installation. We have a solo show at the Chicago Cultural Center in September and plan to create a giant sandcastle landscape in the Chicago Rooms. In addition to the installation we hope to run a series of workshops that will teach people to make their own Sandcastle Maker, show them how to use it, and encourage them to see the beach as a creative space for them to make awesome sandcastles and other creative works.

We see this an opportunity to bring the sand to the visitors, to try it out for themselves, to learn about the art of manipulating sand and understand how to make the most of this technique. Sculpting sand is a great, accessible form of making and provides a haptic understanding of materials through direct manipulation. In order create a situation where we can share it with the public we first need to build new sandcastle makers and create the installation at the Cultural Center

Funded by Chicago, IL (June 2016)