I recently had the privilege to attend a workshop held by John Gowdy at the AENJ fall conference in Long Branch, NJ. John is a working sand sculptor who is incredibly talented and also a really interesting guy.
John's education was in Physics and fine art (STEAM anyone???) and he is an accomplished painter but makes most of his living working in sand. And boy of boy, does this guy knows sand! He began his presentation with an explanation of sand properties and qualities of sand on beaches and in quarries around the world. John also discussed the reason why a sand sculpture stays together…it is chemistry between the sand and water with a touch of surface tension…awesome stuff….I will never build a sand castle In the same mindset ever again!
Then the fun began…he showed us how to build a dolphin out of beach sand…”soft sculpting” he called it. He set us loose on some piles of beach sand, and a whole lot of dolphin making began. It was so much fun and there were a lot of really neat sculptures when we were done… Later he demonstrated sand sculpting a woman’s face…it was amazing to see the lady emerge out of a pile of sand.
What a great and inspiring day at the beach! Thanks John and my sculpting partners Brea and Martha!