If you’ve walked past an impressive sand sculpture on a beach or seen one on TV or the internet and thought, it must take a special skill to do that… I’m here to tell you that’s not really true. The “professionals” have teams of people, use giant forms, have hoses and water, power tools, etc. But you can make one every bit as good, if smaller! What it does take is 3PK: Patience, Persistence, Practice… and a little bit of knowledge.
You’ll find photos of 20 years of sand sculptures here, And if that motivates you to try making some yourself, you’ll find the basics of how to make a sand sculpture here. It is an amazing thing, when children walk by on the beach, glance over at the sand sculpture and exclaim “Whoa! Look at that!!!” And then they have questions… Are you an artist? What holds it up? How do you make that?”
When I explain that it is just a pile of sand and I am not a trained or professional artist… you can see the wheels in their heads turning… if that can make that out of nothing but sand… what can I create from sand… or other things? One of them might become the next Robert Goddard, Thomas Edison or Elon Musk..
Here’s a quick Tale of Contents, by category, of sand sculptures I’ve made over the years. The menu is always available at the top of each page, under “Sand Sculpture Photo Gallery”.
The first “professional” sand sculptors seem to have originated in Atlantic City in 1897, when “sand artists” made sand art on the beach by the boardwalk and people walking on the boardwalk would toss coins to them. Apparently, it stopped in the late 1940’s by a city ordinance. The NY Public Library has the postcard below from 1900 of one of the artists, who apparently called himself “The Sandman”, at work. So, in honor of his pioneering sand sculpting, I’ll do my best to keep the tradition of the original “Sandman” alive today, entertain adults and sparking the imagination of children on the beach!
Don’t be intimidated by the professionals, making sand sculptures with your kids is good exercise, very relaxing and people appreciate what you make!