What can be sculpted out of sand?

Almost anything can be carved out of sand! Figures, animals, cars, machines, buildings, media figures, seasonal themes and company logos are just a few ideas.

How long can sand sculptures last?

Outdoor sand sculptures can last for weeks or even months, depending on the kind of sand, location of the sculpture, security and weather conditions. Indoor sand sculptures can last years.

What happens when it rains?

Usually nothing! A light rain will do nothing to a sculpture, even if it rains all day. A heavy rain may lightly speckle the sculpture .

Very heavy and prologed downpours (eg. 24 hour storm dropping 20mm of rain) can damage sculptures. This is a rare occurrence and the nature of the medium and the experience of the sculptor allows for repairs.

The sand sculpture is protected from wind and rain by a biodegradable windscreen which is sprayed onto the surface of the sculpture after carving is finished.  In addition, the sculptor engineers the piece so that water drains from it easily.

How are they made?

Sand is shoveled into a bottomless wood or plastic form until it’s loosely filled about 6” deep.  Then, a lot of water is poured onto it and then it’s compacted with feet or a tamper.

This process is repeated until the sand is compacted to the top of the form. A smaller form is placed on top of the filled one and the process is repeated until the desired height is reached. The top form is removed and the sand is sculpted from top down.

Are sand sculptures made of special sand?

Sand sculptures are made from all kinds of sands from either a beach or a quarry.

Quarry sand is made from fluvial deposits (A sedimentary deposit of material transported by or suspended in a river) which have angular grains mixed with silt and clay. These factors enable the sand to bond better. There are many types of quarry sands with many different names (brick, cable, cyclone, silt, river, etc.).

Beach sand is generally not as strong and the grains are rounded due to tidal wash and wind. They usually have very little silt and clay. The best beaches for sand sculpture tend to be those that are near deltas and estuaries, as the sand is constantly replenished with new silt.