Sand Artist Creates Detailed Sculptures That You Could Easily Mistake For Live Animals If You Saw Them From A Distance

by San Eli News

An artist can make art from literally everything. While each creator chooses his material and technique, some surprise us with their unique methods and creations

When at the beach, all children make different forms from the sand. Yet, artists can use the same sand to create superb sculptures!

Sand sculpting is an entirely sustainable and environment-friendly art form. It uses sand as the primary material, and to compact the sand and achieve hardness, artists use fresh tap and sea water.

To create semi-permanent sand sculpture, professionals use sand from fluvial deposits (river sand) that have angular grains combined with a fraction of clay and silt.

Additionally, the sand from a beach close to estuaries is suitable as well, as this sand is constantly replenished with new fluvial sand.

Gerry Kirk developed the building process of sand sculpture in the 1970s, and it consists of two stages, a compaction one, which involves the sand into wooden forms until the actual foundation of the sculpture, and the creative stage, shaping the sand into the final form.

The first stage usually lasts from a few hours to several days, and the second one can take up to two weeks or more. A multi-media artist from Basque Country, Andoni Bastarrika, creates ultra-realistic animal sculptures with sand.

He has been working it for over a decade, and the world fell in love with his artworks as he shares photos of them on social media.

It all started when he and his two girls went to the beach, and his first sculpture was a little mermaid. While working on it, he found out the ‘fluidity’ of his hands.

Bastarrika said:

“They knew what they were doing. I devoted myself to developing this gift and have spent the last 10 years doing just that.”

Yet, as his art pieces attracted lots of attention, he focused on it and kept developing the technique.

He even hosts workshops to teach others the secrets of his work.

He mainly shapes the sculptures with his own hands, but he also uses a brush, small sticks, and toothpicks for some fine details.

He wrote:

“The sand fascinates me because no matter how you look at it, it will always teach you things if you are willing to learn. In order to create a sculpture, an unthinkable number of sand particles participate, hugging each other tightly through humidity, so that someone could model their union.

And once the artist steps back, its piece will remain at the mercy of nature, meaning that sooner or later the wind will dry them up and release each particle, slowly consuming all the individuality and authenticity.”

He explains:

” There are a lot of reasons why I like to make animal sculptures as well, but one is the fact that animals are free spirits. Humans can reflect and learn from them.

Then, there’s the nudity they bring with themselves to this world at birth which they keep until their death. That nudity — at least to me — symbolizes freedom, the essential ingredient to being able to truly live. Humans ‘overdress’ to survive in a lot of ways.

I have never made nor will I make an animal with a necklace or chains. I prefer to embrace their freedom, power, and wisdom through beauty rather than a form of suffering.”

Take a look at some of his amazing artworks: