Veteran artist Dennis Massoud is king of the sandcastle when it comes to sand-sculpting.
The former sand-sculpting world champion shared his skills on Saturday morning as part of Lake Macquarie City Council’s summer school holiday activities program.
Dennis Massoud at Blacksmiths Beach sand-sculpting workshop.
Council’s acting Manager Community Partnerships Stephen McAlister said the City was proud to host events that encouraged the community to get outdoors.
It’s always a fun day and it encourages people to get out and experience some of the beautiful and diverse natural environments we’re so lucky to have on our doorstep,” Mr. McAlister said.
Today’s event at Blacksmiths also included a kite-flying demonstration by the Australian Kiteflyers Society.
While most mums and dads might assemble a modest lump of sand for their kids during a visit to the beach, Massoud spends hours creating giant, lifelike palaces, complete with turrets, windows, spires and drawbridges.
Dragons, dolphins, mermaids and monsters are among the other creations within his formidable artistic arsenal.
The free event, now in its fifth year, ran a half-hour skills workshop hosted by Massoud, followed by sand-sculpting competitions that he judged in the categories: ‘Family’ and ‘Open’.
Massoud said he discovered at a young age a “creative ability” to carve shapes into sand. That developed into a busking career, accepting money from passers-by as he moulded figures on the beach.
But after an offer of expenses-paid travel to a sand-sculpting contest in the United States, his career took off.
Within five years he had taken out the world championship in Denmark, travelling across the globe to compete in the international circuit.
It has been an incredible journey and I really love what I do,” Massoud said.
There are some techniques that have taken me years to develop, but it only takes 10 minutes to impart the information to workshop participants.
During my workshops I give away most of my sand-sculpting secrets, which will definitely help lift your game next time you go to the beach to build a sandcastle.
In a matter of minutes people can create structures in sand they once thought were impossible.”