Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sand Sculpting - A Baby Buddha

I was given the opportunity to sculpt at one of the most popular sand events in New England, the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Competition. An event that brings the most talented sculptors from all over the world, including my former woodcarving teacher, Justin Gordon. What an amazing experience it was. I was not in the competition because I am very much a novice with this medium but I was still allowed to sculpt behind the main sculptures in the event and I got to meet most of the sculptors. There were big crowds watching us work and they took pictures of all sculptures including my first try at sand. It was a lot of fun.

I have no experience with this medium and I have never done a large scale sculpture before. Most of my work is fairly small, very detailed and well planned but this experience with sand took me out of that environment completely. There were no rulers, no pictures, no references, no wireframes, no drawings. Only my hands and sand tools. When I was told to do a baby buddha, my first reaction was a puzzled look. A baby buddha?..ahh, what does that look like other than the obvious features?? I desperately needed a picture but there was none around. Thankfully, my former teacher, Justin, provided guidance throughout the process and I was able to finish my first piece. It was very much a challenge indeed. I never finished an sculpture in a day. What takes my teacher 3-4 hours, took me about 8 hours but at the end I felt great about what I accomplished. I definitely went outside the box and tried something new regardless of the outcome.

The sponsors of the event were great, always making sure we were fine and giving us vouchers for free lunch. I enjoyed it and I had a lot of fun.

I do have to say that as I look at my sculpture, I wish I could go back and change so many things I feel I did wrong with the proportions but then I realize that it is a new medium for me and it takes time to master. It is all about practice and a little bit of planning.


  1. Maria,
    As a first time sand sculptor you should be proud of what you accomplished.

  2. You are right, Bob. I am pretty confident of my abilities regarding sculpting. I do know I can do better than I did but I am proud of my first piece. It reminds me of the first wood piece I carved. It was a little dog but my third piece was 'The Lawyer' which you are familiar with. I had fun playing with sand so there are no complaints on my side.