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How to Build a Sand Sculpture

Home > Everywhere > Beaches | Free | Kids | School Holidays
by Kathryn James (subscribe)
Critique is an art form that requires a light touch, with a splash of irony and good humour to soften the blows.
Published March 3rd 2014
Release your inner pyramid
sand sculpting, sand safari 2014, sand castles, sand art
Sand Safari 2014 event program

The Australian Sand Sculpting Championships were a huge success in Surfers Paradise again this year, with crowds soaking up the sun and the spectacle of huge mythical masterpieces (Sand Safari, 14th Feb-2nd March 2014).

sand sculpting, sand safari 2014, sand castles, sand art
Australian Sand Sculpting Championships 2014

The results are a far cry from what we did as kids, constructing collapsing sandcastles with our tiny bucket and spade.

sand sculpting, sand safari 2014, sand castles, sand art
Sand sculpting workshops

Today's kids spend so much time on google and social media that an opportunity to get down and dirty is a treat, and these sand-sculpting workshops were popular with budding artists.

sand sculpting, sand safari 2014, sand castles, sand art
How to build a sand sculpture

If you missed the workshops, don't despair. Here are the steps to making a sand sculpture.


Start practising now, and you might be exhibiting your own masterpiece this time next year. To help inspire you, here are a few pics of the amazing works on display in Surfers Paradise last weekend.










Sand Sculpting in Spain

California is credited with the evolution of sand sculpting as we see it here, but my first experience was elsewhere. I was mesmerised by my first sand sculpture 20 years ago in Benidorm, a somewhat seedy Spanish beachside resort catering to all-inclusive package tours from Britain.

The mild climate and relaxed atmosphere attracts a bevy of itinerant artists who make the most of an abundant resource. They quickly fashion life-sized forms reclining on the sand, with horses and humans being popular choices. These low-lying structures are most common because they cannot afford the luxury of scaffolding or form-work. They use little else but beach sand, and keep it damp by spraying plain water on every stage.

The artists must eat and sleep beside their pieces, to protect them from marauders and the weather, but also to collect the coins that appreciative tourists toss toward their open backpacks.

Sand art to do at home
On wet drizzly days, or when the holiday is over, entertain the kids with coloured sand art. Make your own or select from a range of creative templates you can buy online.
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Why? Everyone loves to play in the sand
Where: On the beach or at home
Cost: Mostly free
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