Hampton Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
Atlantic News, Thursday, June 26, 2003
HAMPTON BEACH — Something wonderful is taking shape on the sands of Hampton Beach, as the Third Annual Master Sand Sculpting Competition gets underway. Of the 250 tons of imported sand, dropped off June 13 a 125-ton demo site was built highlighting characters and creatures from "Harry Potter".
The solo competition featuring twelve skilled artists starts Wednesday, June 18 as each compeditor gets to turn a heap of sand into a temporary artwork. Judging & Peoples Choice Award will be held on Friday, June 20, 1-4 p.m. The awards ceremony will be held on the Seashell Stage, Friday, 8 p.m.
The more than $10,000 prize money will be distributed as follows: First prize, $2500; second prize, $2000; third prize, $1500; fourth prize, $750; fifth prize, $500; People’s Choice, $500. The non-placing competitors will each receive a $400 fee for competing.
The statues will remain standing until June 26.
For those interested, Free Sand Sculpting Lessons will be offered on Friday, June 20, 1-4 p.m.- or read on to find out more facinating facts about sandsculpting.
Questions most often asked about sand sculpting:
Ask Mr. Sandman:
What are sand sculptures made of? — Sand and water are the only materials allowed in the competition. Each tiny grain of sand in contact with tiny droplets of water is what holds the sculpture together. Compressing the sand and water by pounding it into forms is one of the easiest ways to achieve this.
How do the sculptures stay intact? — Sun and wind dry up and blow away the individual grains of sand. Rain, even heavy rain, actually strengthens the sculpture. After the sculptures are carved, they are sprayed with a biodegradable material, such as school glue and water. This "crusts" the sculpture over, much like an M&M shell to prevent it from blowing away. If the sculpture was not properly built in the first place, even the spraying will not keep it together.
How do they get them so high? — Wooden or plastic forms are filled with sand and water and then, by placing a second, slightly smaller form on top of the first, height is gained. This process is continued until the desired height is reached. Then, by suing the lower forms to stand on, the sculpture can be carved from the top down, removing each platform one at a time. No forms or structural components of any type are allowed in the completed piece.
What are the wires sticking out of the tops? — These are placed in the sculpture after it is carved to prevent birds from landing on the piece, causing possible damage.
How long does it take? — The competition is a timed event. Each competitor has a total of 21 hours over three days to complete the sculpture. It is a solo event; no one is allowed in the plot other than the sculptor.
How much sand do they use? — Each competitor has 10 tons of sand.
How long will they last? — The world record for an outside standing sand sculpture is 11 years. At Hampton Beach, they will be removed after June 28, because of security and safety issues. Twenty tons of sand can hurt if it were to fall on someone.
Why do we import the sand? — Silt is needed to help bind the tiny sand and water particles together. Due to the jetty that was placed to stop the natural beach erosion, the natural deposits of silt to the beach have decreased. Over time, the silt washed out of the beach sand. Some beach sands are excellent for carving, such as on South Padre Island in Texas. Sand used for the Hampton Beach Competition comes from a local sand pit.
What is a Master Sand Sculptor? — Ask 10 different sculptors and get 10 different answers. As far as Mr. Sandman is concerned, if you compete in Masters Competitions and/or work on commissioned pieces, you are a Master Sculptor.
How did this begin at Hampton Beach? — In 2000 the U.S. Mint decided to unveil it’s New Hampshire Quarter at Hampton Beach during the children’s festival. To honor it, a sand sculpture by Greg Grady was commissioned. Everyone enjoyed it so much that it kicked off the sand sculpting competition the following year.
Sand sculpting contest begins with June 13 demo
HAMPTON — Greg Grady, Hampton’s own master sand sculptor, and "The Grady Bunch" — 12 "International Masters of the Sand Universe" sculptors and friends — will once again have a great time together creating a "demo site" at Hampton Beach on June 13 before they get down to the serious business of competing for $10,000 in the 21-hour, three-day competition taking place June 18-20. The completed sculptures will be displayed through June 26.
Besides a Statue of Liberty replica, last year’s demo site featured characters from the Wizard of Oz. This year look for friends of Harry Potter and a sand homage of NH’s "Old Man of the Mountain" as part of the demo site presentation.
The Third Annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Competition is a free event and is funded in part by sponsors and the Hampton Beach Village District in cooperation with the NH Division of Parks, and the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce.
For a complete list of competing sculptors, a daily itinerary, prize money and a live camera online focused on the competition visit www.hamptonbeach.org. For more information on this and all other Hampton Beach events, call the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce at (603)926-8717.
In addition, volunteers are needed to join Greg and the Bunch in the "sand pit," handing out brochures. Help is also needed in traffic control, selling T-shirts, etc. Get a free T-shirt and invitation to the awards party Friday night, June 20 at the Purple Urchin. To volunteer call the Chamber at 926-0718, or sign up at the beach office.
Skilled 'Arti-sands’ prepare to create sandy masterpieces
HAMPTON BEACH — It may be a three-day, grueling, masterpiece-producing competition where one of the 12 invited master sand sculptors will pocket the $2500 first prize money, but for thousands of Hampton Beach fans it is going to be a two-week party at the popular seaside resort from June 13-26.
The fun starts early Friday morning, June 13, when Hampton Beach will do the equivalent of "bringing coals to Newcastle" as 250 tons of special sand from a nearby sand pit is delivered to the center of the beach. Then the organizer, Greg Grady, Hampton’s own master sand sculptor, will begin distributing and "pounding up" a 100+ tons of sand demo site. Greg will continue to work on the demo site through Tuesday, June 17 with the Grady Bunch, which includes the master sculptors who enjoy each other’s company playing in the sand during this non-competitive time.
The serious business of individual competition begins in earnest at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 18, when the 12 professional master sand sculptors begin to create individual works some 10-12 feet high, with 10 tons of sand each. The competition closes at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 20. Judging the competition will be a select panel of artists, but everyone is invited to vote for the People’s Choice award on-site Friday, June 20 from 1-4 p.m. All winners will be announced at the award ceremony from the Seashell Stage Friday, June 20 at 8 p.m.
As an added attraction, Hampton Beach will begin its free nightly summer concerts on the Seashell Stage on June 14, and the first Wednesday night fireworks display will start Wednesday, June 18 at 9:30 p.m. also beginning on the 14th of June, the entire competition area on the beach and boardwalk will be illuminated all night long by high-powered lights for public viewing through June 26, after which the sand will be removed.
The third annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Competition is a free event and is funded in part by sponsors, the Hampton Beach Village District in cooperation with the NH Division of Parks, and the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce. For a complete list of competing sculptors, a daily itinerary, prize money and a live camera online focused on the competition, visit www.hamptonbeach.org.
For more information on this and all other Hampton Beach events, call the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce at 926-8717.