Sandcastle – Creating the Grand Entrance

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 28,918
    Mark Venit, one of the world’s most renown sandcastle builders demonstrates how to create the grand entrance.

    Mark Venit

    Mark Venit is one of the world’s most renown sandcastle builders, specializing in authentic-looking works that, viewed from a distance, look like the real thing! Winner of more than a hundred local, regional, and international competitions, Mark and his work have been featured on television shows, in commercials and print ads, and at trade fairs and conventions, throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe, as well as in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. His passion since childhood has been castles, knights, and things medieval, and, when working in Europe, he spends his free time visiting castles and cathedrals. Having visited more than 300 of them and taking extensive notes and photographs, he has a first hand knowledge and appreciation of the history and architecture of the fortresses and palaces built by ancient masons and artisans. His home in Ocean Pines, Maryland, near the white, sandy beaches of Ocean City, Maryland, is decorated in medieval splendor, replete with heraldry, tapestries, reproduction thrones, trophy mounts, and bathed in authentic 12th Century colors and wall textures. Even his cats have royal names – Charlemagne, Louis XIV, and, well, “Princess” Tiger Lily. Occasionally lecturing on medieval times and architecture, Mark constructs castles and cathedrals using members of the audience to demonstrate the physical principles involved and uses people’s bodies, arms and legs to build roofs, walls, columns, and flying buttresses. In his “other” life he is a management and marketing consultant and author of over 400 articles in trade and professional journals. A graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, where he earned his bachelors and masters degrees, he’s also the Chairman of West Palm Beach, Florida-based ShopWorks Software Corporation.

    Mark Venit: Hi! My name is Mark Venit and I am a professional sandcastle builder, and I would like to welcome you back to Camelot, where we are about to put in a Grand Entrance.

    It could go here, or down here, or over there, but I've purposely saved this because, it will be front and center, in what will be my Christmas card for the 26th year. You can say I've put a little bit of decoration up, there's the handsome prince, well he used to be a handsome prince. He's a little frog, he's there's now, and this is his castle, even though he lets Arthur live in it.

    I'll add a little detail above, what will be the door, and my doorway is just going to be formed pretty much by shadows. So, I am going to cut a, I think Id like a door that comes to a nice, pretty peak, little bit of curve in it, so it here goes. Straight on the bottom, curved on the top, dont worry about the side because we are going to be cutting a lot of that away. In and down, I am cutting in about a half-an-inch deep now. Now, I want to take out the interior here, and I am just going to work the inside too, until I get a nice, flat, soft finish. As you can see, there's a road coming up to the main entrance. It will be finished off with crenellations. The door gives you a chance to make statement, do as much detail as you like, and hopefully get it done before it rains. Then cutting in straight, little bit of a curve at the top coming to a peak. I switch tools because this one is a little sharper, and a better edge.

    Now, you may have some things in your kitchen drawers, to draw lines or textures. I am just going to put some lines in it for wood, with a thin instrument, something I made out of anchovy cans, and it gives me a lot of control. First, I'll put the center in the door and then just a couple lines to give it some texture, catch some shadows. First, right now, the door is closed and we are going to give it a little more ornamentation. I am cutting at an angle, maybe a quarter-of-an-inch deep, just to give the door a more dramatic cast.

    The castle is essentially done. The grand entrance is there. Eventually, I'll make this a crenellated wall; build a nice, attractive road, long and winding road. I may dig a moat around the castle, might put up some more flags, but in our next clip, well be talking about finishing touches and photography.