Each year, the city of “Le Touquet” presents a collection of sand sculptures from May to September.
This year (2007), the theme was Egypt. More than 200 sculptures were exposed from May 26th to Sept. 2nd.
Where is the sand from and what is it?
The sand comes from a quarry in a village called Mont St. Guibert, about 30 km from Brussels (Belgium). It has special qualities: the grains are not round like beach sand but sharp & edged which means it bonds well ! It is also extremely fine, which is why the sculptors can do such a detailed work. Finally, there is the colour: a yellow-orange or a golden copper that gives a special dimension in the sunshine. The play of light and shadow makes it possible to take very fine pictures.
How does the sand hold together? Wind, rain or sun: what is the effect on a sand sculpture? How long can sand sculptures stand?
As the sand is sharp and bonds well, with certain compacting techniques, it gets quite firm and sticks together well, resulting in a firm block of sand. That is why they can withstand normal weather conditions. Severe rain can damage the sculptures, but as they are only made of sand, they can be restored quite easily. The sun dries out the sand with no negative effect on the sculptures. On the contrary, the more sunshine there is, the harder they become. Outside sculptures can stand for months. When they are in a tent, they could hold for ever.
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