Like any recipe it all starts with good ingredients:
* Sifted sand that has a little bit of silt or clay in it
* Water (fresh or salt, doesn't matter for the sculpture but keep in mind it will make your metal tools and shovel rust)
* Buckets, shovels, forms, c-clamps and sculpting tools (trowels, palet knifes, horse brushes, forks, spoons, straws etc.
Often you have an idea what you are going to make. Based on the design you determine your form work and the sizes of the forms. Forms can be as small as a bucket with the bottom cut out, to trash cans without a bottom to plastic or plywood sheets clamped, strapped or nailed together to create larger sculptures.
Fill the forms with layers of about 6 to 8 inches of sand and thoroughly mix it with water. Compress the sand by pressing it down with your feet. Continue this process of layers until you reach a little more than the desired height of your sculpture.
Take a break, let the water drain.
Take the top form of and inspect the sand. Is it firm? Is it no longer jiggly? Determine if it safe to take the next form off if you have stacked several on top of each other.
Start drawing some lines on the block to determine where certain elements should go. Start taking away sand around it. Do not remove the sand where you would like the sculpture to be. It is a switch in your brain that you have to flip to take away around it and not take away at the design itself.
Sand is pretty forgiving and if you do end up taking too much off have a bucket ready with sand and water mixed to add some sand back on.
Keep gravity in mind in your design. It can help you but it will fight you if you're not careful.
Always start your sculpting on the top and work your way down.
Use big tools for big shapes and slowly down size your tools the more detail you would like to add to it.
Take a picture and start thinking about the next sculpture you would like to make.
The moment you ask to spend the rest of your lives together you want it to be a lasting memory. A custom designed sand sculpture will add that little something to push your celebration to the next level.
If you are thinking of proposing in a visual way, a sand sculpture will do the trick. Include a romantic dinner on the beach to the scene and you will be guaranteed to have a very memorable night.
Send us a message to describe what you have in mind and I will be more than happy to provide you with a quote.
Sand sculptures are an experiential marketing tool that have proven itself over and over again. We continue to develop our techniques to improve the clients and viewers take away from this art form.
It will be the most talked about and photographed addition to your event.
If you would like your team to experience what it takes to build their own sculpture, we also offer Team building activities.
When people of different disciplines work together, often informally, you will notice improvement of their work practices. Innovation will be encouraged in our team building workshops. If you would like to be part of a team where innovation flourishes, all you need is some time spent in the sand. Your groups will be motivated to work together, be creative, improvise, visualize and express their ideas and opinions while working on a sculpture that will show the result of their collaboration.
For one to two and a half hours your employees will step into the world of professional sand sculpting and realize how it requires everyone to complete a project.
Please contact us to discuss ideas and obtain a quote.
A two and a half hour workshop will teach you the fundamentals of building sand sculptures. Young and old will experience what it takes to complete a work of art like the professionals. You will find out what can be accomplished with just sand and water. Bring your imagination and we'll take it from there.
As a professional sand sculptor we are often working with an audience. The number one question we get in is; what do you mix with the sand? After answering the same question countless times, I decided to name my business after it: it's 'Just Sand And Water.'
The second most asked question is: What happens when it rains?
It depends on the rain but it really doesn't impact a sculpture as much as people think it does. Sure, the fine details will wash away and the surface will not be as smooth as it was before but overall sand can absorb a great deal of water. The combination of wind and sun will do more damage to a sculpture than rain alone.
Third place will go to: Is it special sand?
Not really. Some sand is better than others for sand sculpting. For instance, some beach sand has been exposed to the elements for a long period of time, rolled by the waves and blown by the wind, thus rounding each grain of sand. Compacting this type of sand can result in each grain ‘sliding’ off each other in vertical sculptures creating collapses. Have you ever tried to stack marbles? You would get a similar result.
Quarry or river sand has not been as exposed, leaving each grain of sand with rougher, sharper edges and when compacted it will lock together. Thus allowing us to stack them high up.
The fourth most popular question is: What are you making?
Sometimes we'll tell you, sometimes we won't. It depends who and what the sculpture is for. Especially marriage proposals are cloaked in secrecy for obvious reasons.
The sculpting process is like telling a story. It will take you through the entire story from start to finish but you will not have the same experience if you already know in the beginning how the movie is going to end.
I'll leave it at five questions for now. For the last one we'll use: How long does it take?
Generally speaking most of our sculptures are build over 2 days. After we shovel, mix and compress the sand and water in wooden or plastic forms, we like to let them sit overnight to let the water drain. Some sand drains faster than others and allow you to pull of the form within a few hours. Most of the sculptures we do are carved or sculpted in a day and a half. To have them completed before the wedding takes place or the guests arrive for a wonderful dinner on the beach.
If you are still looking for answers to other questions, feel free to send me a message.
Weatherchannel, LIVE on Groundhog Day, February 2018
Since 2014 the International Sand Art Competition has taken place four times on the largest privately owned beach in Key West at the Casa Marina , A Waldorf Astoria Resort. World renowned sand sculptors compete against each other for fame, glory and prize money.
The sculptors, each using 7 tons of sand, have four days to create their works of art with just sand and water...
Watch the segment on Art Loft about the first edition.
Unfortunately this event will not take place in 2019 but stay tuned for announcements for new projects in 2020.
Even though I'm based out of Key West, several times a year I get to travel for certain jobs, projects and competitions.
The pictures below are competition pieces from the last couple of years.
2017 Parksville, Canada, Doubles Competition 3rd Place
2016 Revere Beach, US, Doubles Competition 1st Place
2016 Revere Beach, US, Doubles Competition Sculptor's Choice
2014 Parksville, Canada, Doubles Competition 3rd Place
2010 Navarre Beach, FL Solo Competition 3rd Place
Not every sculpture comes with a predetermined design. Sometimes the sand chooses what it wants to be.
A sand sculpture in the theme of the upcoming holidays will really set your property apart. Indoor or outdoor locations are a possibility for us to create sand sculpture displays that will entertain your guests every time they see them.