The Art of Sand Castles

They call themselves sand sculptors—artists who build massive structures on the beach for fun and profit, only to watch their work disappear overnight.

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Sandcastle Competitions
Photographer: Michael Hanson

A New Life

Kirk, now 60, lives in Santa Cruz, and gets hired by Bay Area companies like Facebook and George Lucas's Industrial Light & Magic to build sculptures for corporate theme parties. He carves at trade shows and private gatherings, including a birthday party for Dustin Hoffman's wife. And last year he was tapped to co-host Sand Masters, a Travel Channel reality series that features a team of sculptors creating masterpieces in exotic locations.

Sometimes he even gets paid to compete in competitions. But he doesn't consider that a major part of his income. "I come here to have fun and see my friends," he says.

Left: Kirk and his sculpting partner Helena Bangert at Siesta Key

More Ways To Get Coastal Living



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100 Comfy Cottage Rooms 

Develop your coastal cottage’s style by following these simple tricks.

Lacy curtains, fresh florals, and plenty of monogrammed pillows are just a few of the feminine touches that give this room its calming and sweet mood. Pieces scored at thrift stores and flea markets were refreshed with paint, then artfully applied to achieve the shabby-chic distressed look.