“Building ‘sandcastles’ is a bit of a test. Nature will always be against you and time is always running out. Having to think fast and to bring it all together in the end is what I like about it.
“I rarely start with a plan, just a vague notion of trying to do something different each time. Once I begin building and forms take shape I can start to see where things are going and either follow that road or attempt to contradict it with something unexpected.
“In my mind they are always mash-ups of influences and ideas. I see a castle, a fishing village, a modernist sculpture, a stage set for the oscars all at once.
“When they are successful they don’t feel contained or finished. They become organic machines that might grow and expand. I am always adding just one more bit and if time allowed I wouldn’t stop.”
Calvin’s tools include a five-gallon plastic paint bucket and a few trowels he made from Plexiglas. He begins by scooping dry sand with his bucket into a mound at the high-tide mark, then fetches buckets of water from the ocean to flood the mound before kneading it into a muddy consistency.
The shaping process begins at the top to avoid dropping sand onto finished work below.
Loads more castles on Flickr.
And some background over on the NYT site: King of the Sand Castle.