Frequently Asked Questions
Do you require special sand?
The best sand for sculpting is unwashed builders sand, available at any builders’ yard. However we pride ourselves on our ability to design sculptures that do not require perfect sand. On occasions, our sculptors will shovel up existing sand on a beach for a team-building event or a product launch. This sand being far from perfect, very washed or full of shells etc., may dictate a lower, more horizontal format. Hand screening some of the sand to remove stones, shells, and debris may be necessary at times.
When we order sand from a local quarry or sand merchant we request un-washed builders sand, or screened fill sand. The properties of the sand we are looking for are as follows.
A proper sand should compact well with the addition of water. The sand particles should be angular as opposed to smooth. A high silt, clay content is present in unwashed sand, similar to sand found in an estuary.
Where can I find builders sand?
Most sand and aggregate quarries/merchants can provide a good builders sand. Sand is always sourced near your event. Price always varies so shop and compare. We can assist you in sand procurement. It is always less expensive when a truck tips sand exactly where the sculpture is displayed. This truck access approach allows for quick removal as well, i.e. utilizing a grab service for sand disposal after your event
What if I do not have access large enough for sand to be tipped?
No worries, this is often the case. Sand can be tipped near the venue by truck and brought into the venue by more site appropriate means. We often have sand delivered in one-ton nylon bags and have the venue forklift them to the sculpting site.
What other requirements are necessary in Professional Sand Sculpting Displays?
Adequate source for water, and hosepipe. Adequate is dependent on the size of your display.
Depending on location of your event, security may be required at times. Access barriers, ropes, or fencing are often helpful in protecting the sculpture.
Marquees can be used should inclement weather pose a threat. Heavy equipment/ operator may be necessary in the early stages of very large projects.
Food, lodging, and transportation to the job site should be provided.
Should a project require formwork for doing a pound-up, a list of required timber/materials will be provided in advance. These materials must be delivered to the job site prior to our arrival.
What is a Pound-up?
A pound up is a term used to describe the process of building a stepped pyramid of compacted sand. A large, bottomless wooden box/formwork is filled with sand and the proper amount of water. This box is packed and vibrated solid with a weighted tamper. A slightly smaller box is placed on top and the process repeated. The sculpture unveils itself by removing the formwork from the top box down to the bottom box. See image.
What is a soft-pile sand sculpture?
It is a technique often used on a very large project when time and budget dictates limited use of formwork or no formwork at all. The sand needs to be of good carving quality, described above. Heavy equipment is used to compact the sand as adequate water is introduced. If some formwork is required to achieve a bit more height, a plateau of pre-determined height is created on top of the soft-pile. This plateau is sufficiently large enough to begin our pound-up's bottom box.