....   ....
...   1. Where are you from and who are you?

Jenny Rossen is the sandcastle girl. She grew up in Perth Australia and now travels the world making sandcastle displays for exhibiitions and festivals. Jenny was the first person to represent Australia at the World Championship Sandsculpting competition, Canada, and gained admittance to the Guild of Master Sandsculptors. Since then, Jenny has represented Australia in Europe and the United States of America, where she placed in both international competitions. Today, Jenny lives in Dubai because "there is a lot of sand there".

Jenny has travelled the world, working on sandsculpture in America, Asia, Australia and Europe. She is a European and United States Champion sculptor with extensive experience in community workshops and working with young people. Jenny works with sculptors from all over the world on many different projects.

Back to top
  ... ....  



  2. Is it just sand and water?

Only sand and water are used to make the sandcastle. No chemicals or cement are added.
  ....   ....
...   3. How does the sand stay together?

The sand stays together due to water and packing it very tight. We make boxes out of wood. These boxes have no top or bottom. We call these boxes form-work. The size of the form-work depends on the size of the project.

The first box was very big. We filled it with sand. Another slightly smaller form-work frame is placed on top of the full form, and is then filled and compacted in the same manner for. Forms can be built up into any shape (as long as it is smaller than the preceding form-work). See below the first three forms of a castle. ....

For the Dubai Shopping Festival Castle we needed the help of a tractor to fill the form-work boxes.

We fill the boxes with sand, spreading it out in layers of 15cm layers.

Water is added to the sand.
We mix the sand and water in the box.

Each layer is then compacted using a construction compactor or with a hand tamper.
Form-work stacking continues until the desired height is reached.

On the very top we used rubbish bin buckets with the bottom cut out as extra form work. These were the basis for the top turrets.

Intricate and delicate carving then begins on the top block. Once finished, the form-work below is removed and the next level down is revealed to continue the carving process down the face of the sculpture.


The form-work is to hold the sand and also acts as scaffolding that the sculptors can stand on.
Back to top
  ... ....  



  4. How long do sculptures take?

The sculpture in the picture took 14 days from constructing the sandbox to the last day of carving. Sculptures can take one day or up to three months depending on the size of the job.
  ....   ....
...   5. How did you get to the top?

The sandcastle is built from the bottom up and then carved from the top down. We start at the top of the form-work and as we pull the form-work off we carve our way to the bottom. Once we have taken the wooden boxes away we cannot return to the top of the pile.

  ... ....  



  6. What can you make?

If you can think of it you can probably make it out of sand. Castles are always the most popular, but some sculptors will only carve human forms or organic sculptures. One sculptor made a chain with links that hung purely out of sand.

  ....   ....
...   7. What happens if it rains?
The rain won’t hurt the castle that much unless it is a very heavy shower. We have sprayed the sculpture with a water and glue mix. This makes a light seal over the sculpture to protect it from rain and wind. However a bad storm and heavy rain will wear down the surfaces of the buildings and some finer work could be damaged. ..
Back to top
  ... ....  



  8. How long will it last?

Sculptures can last inside for up to 10 years but vandalism is generally the biggest cause of collapse. Usually the sculptures get knocked down a few weeks after they have been made.

  ....   ....
...   9. What tools do you use?

We use whatever we can find; pastry and cake knives, plasterers tools, builders tools, some paint brushes and dentist tools. The best tools are your hands, plastic forks and knives.

  ... ....  



  10. Do you draw it up before you start?

We have a rough idea of what we will make before we start but each sculpture is designed and carved on the spot. All the sculptures have never been made before. Each sculpture is unique and different.

  ....   ....
....11. What size sandsculpture do we need?

10 Ton
20 Ton
75 Ton
140 Ton
Back to top