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Eye popping sand sculptures turn heads at Coronado Beach

Bill Pavlacka creates stunning sand castle sculptures for public viewing weekly at the Coronado Beach. He's been a passionate sand castle builder for over thirty years.
Bill Pavlacka creates stunning sand castle sculptures for public viewing weekly at the Coronado Beach. He's been a passionate sand castle builder for over thirty years.
Kenneth Brantingham

Add this to your list of enviable occupations; Bill Pavlacka is a sculpture extraordinaire of sand castles on the beach, and he's making a living at it. Whether commissioned to do the art for a special event or on his own with a donation jar, either way he's on the beach under the shade of an umbrella. He calls himself The Sand Castle Man.

Bill Pavlacka builds sand castles for fun and profit
Bill Pavlacka builds sand castles for fun and profit
Kenneth Brantingham

We found him in front of the Hotel Del Coronado next to an eye catching, highly detailed, mystical, magical, with portions fantastical, sand sculpture. The art is given no name but can be likened to the Emerald City from the land of OZ with spires, pathways, and quaint little houses. In the background is the Hotel Del's distinctive red shingled turrets piercing the sky. There is an uncanny similarity between the hotel's architecture and Pavlocka's art piece.

Popular local beaches provide a ceaseless audience whose curiosity overcomes their shyness. They approach cautiously at first, then break out the camera or stand back in appreciation. Most don't notice the donation jar and Pavlacka remains seated yet attentive. His art cannot be bought or hung on a wall, but any one of these beach-goers is a potential future gig. His business card is at the ready for the prospective client. But it's the artwork that speaks loudest.

Creating it takes time, patience, and an understanding of gravity and tides. Surrounding him are the tools of the trade: a wheelbarrow and white plastic buckets for water.

"It took me about five hours," says Pavlacka. His more involved creations will take days to build.

He favors Coronado Beach and who wouldn't. Any beach will do and he's been up the coast doing his art as far as San Francisco. Just about every weekend he's at Coronado Beach in front of the Hotel Del. If you can't see his work in person, he has an impressive internet presence starting with his website and a time lapse video of the creation of a sand castle on Youtube.

Bill Pavlacka
The Sand Castle Man
(619) 252-0392
billy@thesandcastleman.com
www.thesandcastleman.com

Time lapse video here;

Questions or suggestions for Ken?
Email him at brantingham1@earthlink.net