By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Tuesday, June 28, 2005
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online]
[Photo by Rich Beauchesne]
HAMPTON -- Both the judges and the people off the beach found themselves enchanted by Karen Fralich’s sculpture.
The Canadian sculptor and current world champion finished in first place in the fifth annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Competition and also won the "People’s Choice Award" from people who viewed the works of art.
Her creation, titled "Enchanted Encounter," depicted fairies in a wooded scene and ousted 11 other contenders in the competition.
This was the first time Fralich has competed at Hampton Beach.
She first began her sculpting career in 1994.
"I was hooked on sand sculpting the moment I carved my first cow," said Fralich.
Volunteer coordinator Jerry McConnell said thousands of tourists came to Hampton Beach for a glimpse of the masterpieces in sand.
"Each year, it surprises me what they do for us," said McConnell. "The thing that never changes is the beauty of these sculptures. They can take a pile of sand and turn it into a masterpiece."
Last year’s champion, Dan Doubleday, came in fourth place with his sculpture titled "Moon Wok."
Another former champion, Marc Lepire of Charlesbourg, Quebec, came in second with his sculpture titled "the Beginning," which depicted Adam and Eve on opposite sides of the apple trees.
Meridth Corson, of Treasure Island, Fla., came in fifth with her creation titled "Picture Perfect."
Each competitor had 10 tons of sand to work with and 21 hours over three days to complete his or her sculpture.
Sand and water are the only materials allowed in the competition. Each tiny grain of sand in contact with tiny droplets of water is what holds the sculpture together.
After the sculptures are carved, they are sprayed with a bio-degradable material such as school glue and water to make sure they stay up.
Thomas Koet, of Melbourne, Fla., won the sculptor’s choice award with his piece titled "Red Tape."
The sculpture depicted two industrial workers pulling a piece of fabric stuck in the gears.
One of the sculptures didn’t make it to the awards ceremony.
South Padre Island, Fla., resident Fred Mallet’s creation "Tough Game" collapsed just one hour before judging.
His sculpture was supposed to be a bowling pin with angels coming out of the top but it caved because of the weight on one side.
McConnell said the sculptures will remain up until June 30. After that, they will be torn down.
All the sculptors took a part in creating the Master Group Carve, which pays tribute to "friends of our past and present."
The collection includes sculptures of Star Wars’ Yoda and Darth Vader, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Sox outfielder Johnny Damon.