So after my sand models I wasn’t really sure where to take it next. It was suggested that I look into professional sand sculpting. WOW these model makers are amazing! They create such intricate design out of sand (with a limited amount of time).
I really wanted to find out what additives they were using in the sand mixture. This is a lot harder to find then i first thought because it is banned in most professional competitions. Nowadays they just use sand and water. I heard it may be a mixture of Gelatin and salt. Others say its concrete mixed with sand. But it’s my mission to find out exactly what they use. Why? Because if I can get my hand on some I will be building massive sand sculptures and skate obstacles… And making them permanent features! I will mix in way too much hardener and sculpt myself a bench. I could leave it as- is. Or I can take that design and cast myself a mould out of concrete of plaster. Could you imagine building a piece of sand furniture that hardens, and then you pick it up and take it home.
The best sand to use is sand from a river bed because it has larger triangular grains that stick together. (River = No waves!) Beach sand is not the best because the grains are rounded and smooth. This is because the waves and tides have been crashing down causing the grains to wear down over hundreds (millions?) of years.
Believe it or not but they plant explosives in these sculptures as they build them. When the competition is over… BOOM! And I thought kicking over a sand castle was fun.
They use a method called ‘Pound-up’. It basically involves building a framework out of timber. These timber walls are built up vertically until it reaches a desired height. Each section is filled with sand and is then compacted down by whacking it, jumping on it or pouring water on it. (machinery can be used to compact the sand as well.)
This is a very interesting process that I will look into further.