Yesterday was the second day of the three-day inaugural Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sandsculpting Competition (Nov. 18 – 21, 2010) and thanks to my friends at the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau, I was able to see the magical sand masterpieces being created out of the quartz sand.
Although more than half finished, the sand sculptures were already incredible! Some still had the wood boxes around the bases and watched some of them being taken off. I know I held my breath as the panels of wood were removed and I’m sure the sculptors did, too.
The Siesta Key sand is very fine, consisting primarily of quartz. It’s what gives it the bright, white color and why it’s cool on the feet even during the heat of summer. In 1987 Siesta Key’s sand took home top honors i the Great International White Sand Challenge and recognized as having the World’s Finest, Whitest Sand (my aunt designed the logo for that designation, by the way) and Dr. Beach (Prof. Stephen P. Leatherman) has included Siesta Key’s Crescent Beach in the nation’s top 10 beaches in the U.S. for a few years now (currently in the #2 spot two years running).
I watched a sand sculpting demonstration, kind of a condensed version of what the sculptors have been doing for multiple days. For someone who is only successful in making a lump in the sand, perhaps I’ll have to see if I can get more creative. Masters used tiny tools to carve, straws to blow sand away and spray water to mold the sand. A glue mixture is sprayed at the end to set the sand.
In addition to watching the sculptors, there were vendor booths selling items and providing information. Plenty of food vendors were on hand, too. One even had a whole pig roasting! A band provided live entertainment.
Oh, and yes, there have been sand sculpting events on Siesta Key before but this was the first Master Sand Sculpting Competition.
Hopefully this year’s Crystal Classic was a success and will return next year. And hopefully next year I’ll be able to visit when the sand sculptures are finished.
Here are a couple of videos I posted on TwitVid with my new iPhone – yeah, I’m having fun with it!