WUCF Artisodes Short: Suzanne Altamare

WUCF Artisodes Short: Suzanne Altamare


>>IN ’81 I CAME TO DAYTONA AND I SAW A MAN DOING SAND SCULPTURES ALL THE TIME AND HE AND I ENDED UP WORKING AT THE SAME PLACE. WE BECAME VERY GOOD FRIENDS. AND EVENTUALLY HE BECAME MY HUSBAND BUT I LEARNED FROM HIM. MARK WAS ONE OF THE FIRST PROEFESSIONAL SAND SCULPTERS IN THE UNITED STATES. HE STARTED IN THE LATE 60S. HE WAS MORE PRONE TO DO PEOPLE AND I LIKE ANIMALS A LITTLE BETTER. AND YOU KNOW MOTORCYCLES AND ARCHITECTURE LATELY. I LIKE THAT. SO IT’S STRANGE WHAT YOU FIND OUT YOU DO LIKE. FOR THIRTY YEARS I’VE BEEN MOSTLY SOFT SAND SO IT HAS MORE OF A AMATEUR LOOK TO IT BECAUSE YOU CAN’T MAKE IT STAND UP TALL. YOU HAVE TO USE ILLUSION TO MAKE THINGS LOOK AS IF THEY’RE STANDING FREE. AND I LOVE SOFT SAND. FOR SOME THINGS I REALLY LOVE SOFT SAND, ALTHOUGH HAVING WORKED NOW WITH COMPACTION AND TOOLS, I’VE TAKEN THAT AND ADDED IT TO THE SOFT SAND AND CHANGE IT A LITTLE BIT TO WHERE IT’S KIND OF A COMBINATION OF BOTH. IT’S A CHALLENGE BECAUSE EVERY SAND IS DIFFERENT. EVERY SAND BEHAVES DIFFERENTLY. I MEAN EVEN SAND THAT YOU MIGHT WALK UP AND GO OH I KNOW THIS SAND. THEN YOU START WORKING WITH IT AND IT DOESN’T DO THE SAME THING. SO IT’S THAT CONSTANT CHALLENGE. IT’S CONSTANTLY TRYING ESPECIALLY IN SOFT SAND TO FIND WHAT GRAVITY WILL ALLOW. MOSTLY PEOPLE WATCH WHEN YOU’RE WORKING AND IT’S HORRIBLE SOMETIMES. BECAUSE YOU FIGURE AN ARTIST NORMALLY IS HIDDEN AWAY. ALL OF THEIR MISTAKES CAN BE DEALT WITH PRIVATELY. BUT YOU’RE JUST OUT THERE. WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING AND IF YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG, THEY’RE WATCHING. BUT IT’S SOMETHING ABOUT YOU KNOW YOU GET RIGHT DOWN TO THE LEVEL OF THE SAND WITH YOUR MIND AND IT’S FASCINATING. IT PULLS YOU IN. YOU CAN BRING YOUR IMAGINATION OUT INTO THE WORLD WITH SAND. YOU CAN JUST CREATE WHATEVER YOU WANT. SOMETIMES. A LOT OF TIMES, I’LL JUST BE SITTING SOMEWHERE OR SOMETHING AND I KIND OF SEE THE WHOLE SCULPTURE. ALL OF A SUDDEN, BOOM THERE IT IS. THEN I MIGHT WORK ON IT IN MY MIND. WELL I’LL CHANGE THIS OR ADD THAT. AND YOU’RE ALWAYS STRIVING TO MAKE IT BETTER. IT’S NEVER FINISHED. AND YOU’RE ENDLESSLY LEARNING. ENDLESSLY. AND I’VE DONE IT THIRTY YEARS NOW. IN THIS COUNTRY, WE HAVE ABOUT FORTY PROFESSIONAL SAND SCULPTERS. WORLDWIDE PROBABLY 300. BECAUSE IT’S AN EXTREMELY PAINFUL ART FORM. IT HURTS. YOUR BODY HURTS A LOT BUT IT’S WORTH IT. YOU JUST HAVE TO KEEP DOING IT AND KEEP AFTER IT. IT TAKES A SPECIALKIND OF PERSON TO GO THROUGH THAT PAIN. AND PRACTICE AND PRACTICE AND GET TO THE POINT WHERE YOU COULD CREATE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL. THEY GO FROM TABLETOP. I DO A LOT OF TABLETOP SCULPTURES MINIATURES. UP TO WOW IN BELGIUM WE DID LETS SEE I THINK I HAD A 40 FOOT OCTUPUS AND 250 FOOT DRAGON. AND THESE ARE JUST MASSIVE PROJECTS. IF YOU SEE IT ON TELEVISION, OR IF YOU SEE IT IN PHOTOGRAPHS OR THE INTERNET, IT GIVES YOU NO SENSE OF THE VOLUME AND YOU JUST REALLY CAN’T SEE ENOUGH UNTIL YOU ARE

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