Sand sculpting

My new fave thing to do at the beach: sand sculptures!

Working with plaster last semester opened me up to creating 3D forms using wet-dry and powdery material, so I gave sand sculpting a go while on vacation this week.

I started digging and came up with a mound that just seemed to ask for a face.  Since it was November 1, the start of the undas festival, I wanted to do something in honor of the dead.  All the funerary paraphernalia of Egypt and Ancient Rome from last sem’s Art History class came back to me and I ended up with a figure in a resting pose with eyes closed.

Montalut Sand art  2013 (4)

I initially did a full body outline but ran out of time (I started at around 2pm, and people were already crowding about on their afternoon/sunset walk at 4pm).

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It still came out pretty big —  a low relief sand piece with hair bursting out to the waves.

Montalut Sand art  2013 (1)


It was my first ever public art, and I was both shy and excited to get feedback from people passing by.   My first “audience” was a cute French man in a hat who lingered over my shoulder, smiled and said, “Very beautiful.”  Don’t know if he was talking about the piece or me (haha! I should’ve asked).

But seeing happy faces and even people stopping by to take photos was nice — my sandman was connecting to someone other than myself!  Yay.

Of course there was also the matter of kids playing with it and wanting to step on it.  I was surprised I didn’t get flustered over this.   My old self would’ve barked at them to safeguard my work, but I guess that’s one thing ephemeral or temporary art teaches us: to just enjoy the now.


Attempt number two was more ambitious: I wanted to make a fish that seemed to swim out of the sand.

Montalut Sand art Fish 2013 (4)

I didn’t realize making the fin stand would be very difficult with sand, so I had to adjust the angle of the fish head so the fin could rest at the back.

Montalut Sand art Fish 2013 (5)

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Again it was a kilig moment when I started feeling people stop by to look, but I was just happy it looked like a fish!

Here are mom and dad enjoying our catch for the day:

Montalut Sand art Fish 2013 (26)

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Montalut Sand art Fish 2013 (9)

Was away for a week and maybe once or twice I regretted not bringing pencils or paints with me, but I’m glad I didn’t because I got to explore and play with the most abundant local material instead– sand! The next time you’re at the beach, give sand sculpting a go — it’s free and your canvas can be as big or small as you need it to be. What a great way to play, play, play. 🙂


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