Common Questions

How do you do that?
20131010_153604Each sand sculpture begins with a pound-up. This involves creating a block of hard, moist, compact sand. Depending on the scale of the sculpture timber form work and some compaction devices may be used. Once the pound-up is finished the sculptor begins at the top of the compacted sand. The process mainly involves carving and removing excess sand to reveal the sculpture. A small amount of build-up can be done using a very wet sand slurry. The final stage involves detailing, adding textures or fine features.

Can you use any sand?
You can make some sort of sculpture out of any sand but some sand will allow you to make a sculpture which is taller, more undercut, more detailed and more long lasting. Generally beach sand in WA is pretty useless. Brickies sand will usually produce a good result.

What do you put in the sand?
We don’t add anything. We usually use the cheapest brickies’ sand and all we add is water and muscle power for the compaction. You don’t need any glues or binding agents.

How long does it take?
The time taken depends on the size, complexity and detail of the sculpture. It may take anywhere from a few hours to a month. As a rough guide a fairly detailed sculpture using 3-4m3 sand, such as many of the ones featured on this webpage, will take about three or four days.

Can you do it inside?
Yes. We have completed sand sculptures in indoor venues such as building foyers, pubs and public venues eg Marine Research Discovery Centre

How long does it last?
Longevity depends on the exposure to weather (and vandals) and the sand used. In a sheltered environment the sculptures can last for years. For example, the sculpture at Little Creatures Micro Brewery was in place (and intact) for two months. When it was deconstructed it had to be knocked down using a sledge hammer.

Does it ever collapse while you are working on it?
Yes, occasionally we get too ambitious and a part of the sculpture falls down, or someone leans the wrong way. When this happens we are usually able to patch it up to rescue it. That’s why the designs are only a guide!

How do you come up with the ideas?
Most of the designs are developed in partnership with the host/sponsor. Starting with a theme or logo we suggest some ideas and then usually sketch up a couple of possibilities. When the design has been agreed on, the resulting sculpture is usually pretty accurate to the sketch. Sometimes, due to a partial collapse, a technical hitch or a sudden artistic insight, it may be find tuned as we go along. We usually leave a sketch of the design available for people to see.

Can you do it on the beach?
Well, yes … and no. It is possible but due to the nature of the sand, it’s usually pretty restrictive. Pieces need to be much flatter and less detailed. And its longevity is greatly reduced.

How much does it cost?
The cost of having a sculpture made is a question of how large and detailed it is, and how long it will take to create. The larger and more complex the sculpture the greater the cost. As a guide, costs usually range from $1,000 to 1,300 a day depending on if lessons are included. Please contact us for a more accurate quote.