We all created sand sculptures when we were kids, sitting in a sandbox with a scoop. In winter, holding an icicle in our hands, we looked through it at the sun, marveling at the magical tints. Sand and ice have always fascinated people with their beauty.
There is no exact answer to the question when the first sand sculpture appeared. There is a hypothesis that the ancient Egyptians made copies of the future pyramids from sand. Unlike real ones, sand sculptures are very short-lived, because the main building materials are sand and water.
Building sand sculptures has its own nuances. The fact is that sand is not stable when it is wet. On the other hand, dry sand crumbles. According to BBC's Coast program, the ideal ratio for building sand castles is 8 parts of dry sand to 1 part of water.
In recent decades, the manufacture of sand sculptures has become so popular that it has practically passed into the category of art. Now, various festivals dedicated to sand sculptures are being organized. Despite all the variety of art pieces, the method is always the same: sand and water. Creating a sand sculpture is difficult and painstaking work. No additional frame structures and fixing means are used in creating sand masterpieces.
Since 1989, the World Sand Sculptures Championship has been held in Canada. This contest includes different team categories.
The highest sand sculpture in the world is a castle 15.1 meters high that was built on Myrtle Beach.
In recent years, many artisans have organized their business specifically aimed at creating sand sculptures. Such activity has found a market niche with various clients looking to promote some product or just to surprise their customers at special events. While for most of these businessmen this is not a major activity, some companies specialize in it.
The most creative sand sculpture festivals all around the world are: The Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition in Canada, European Championship Sand Sculpture Festival, Zandvoort aan Zee in Netherlands, Sand Sculpture Festival and Weston-Super-Mare in UK, just to name a few.
The roots of the development of modern festivals of snow and ice sculptures lie far in the past. It is very difficult to say exactly where the ice and snow sculpture originated because the area of the globe covered by snow is very large. There are suggestions that Japan was the first country where ice sculpture was born. Be that as it may, all the snow and ice sculpture festivals were timed to coincide with the holidays and were accompanied by mass celebrations.
Ice sculptures amaze with their elegance and fabulousness. You can create almost anything from ice, and in the sunlight, your work will shine like the purest rock crystal. However, if the weather is not sunny, you can make special highlights so that the sculpture pleases one’s eye in the winter twilight.
One of the most popular and famous is the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. It begins early in January and lasts one month. Ice sculptures are processed both with the help of modern (for example, lasers) and more traditional tools. Winter holidays at the festival include swimming in the winter hole of the Sungari River, skiing and many other activities.
There are numerous ice and snow festivals in the world: the Japanese snow festival in Sapporo, Quebec Winter Carnival, Ice on Whyte Festival in Edmonton and more.
There is a lot more to sand and ice than we used to think. There is no doubt the most astonishing creations from these materials are yet to come.
“Sculpture is the art of the intelligence.” Pablo Picasso