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.