If you could think of the coolest job in the world, what would that be? After speaking to Peter Redmond this week, I think I’ve nailed it. Professional sand sculpting. Yep, Peter’s paid to make sandcastles for a living!
A graphic designer and illustrator by trade, based in Melbourne, Peter is set to hit the Gold Coast later this month for Sand Safari where he’ll be battling it out with nine other professional sand sculptors at the 2016 Australian Sand Sculpting Championship.
“Making sandcastles” is quite the understatement though. Sand sculpting is a lot more technical and complex than simply patting handfuls of sand together to a back track of waves crashing, kids frolicking and seagulls squarking. For starters, as Peter explains, sand sculptures are not made of general beach sand. Sculptors will create formwork that’s sympathetic to the proposed sculpture’s general shape. Then they will fill the formwork with compacted brickies’ loam (a quarried specialist sand) before taking to that sand with a set of specialist tools including builder’s trowels, small shovels and even kitchenware such as spoons, forks and cake decorating palette knives!
Peter has spent the past 10 years honing his craft. He’s been contracted to sculpt sand into everything from animals and people to promotional objects for advertising agencies and other corporate events, for example. Sand sculpting has allowed Peter to travel the globe – he has even sculpted sand in the Maldives! #dreamjob
“The biggest sculpture I’ve done was a 300-tonne medieval castle in Victoria,” he says. “For the Australian Championships at Sand Safari though, we have to create a DreamWorks hero character and I’m doing a 10-tonne sculpture of the penguins of Madagascar.”
So, on your next visit to the beach, if there’s one family who you don’t want to pitch your beach tent alongside, it’s Peters. Imagine how high he sets the sandcastle bar? “My daughters are 23 and 19 now but, yes, we have made some pretty cool sandcastles in our time!”
Public voting in the 2016 Australian Sand Sculpting Championship is open from February 12-14. The winner will be announced on February 14 at 4pm and sculptures will remain open for viewing until February 28. For more about Sand Safari, visit www.surfersparadise.com/whats-on/free-events/sand-safari