First let me talk about what sand is. You’re first thought may be "Why? I already know what sand is.” What you may not know is that in geology, sand is described as particles between 0.0625 and 2mm in diameter. Smaller particles are called granule, while finer particles are know as silt. Sand is basically made up of the fragments of rocks after a period of time. It starts as big fragments, rocks, which are broken down as rivers carry it down stream. The finer the particle, the longer period of time it has flowed down, eventually turning into sand. Sand essentially is made up of single crystal of minerals. Some sand is coarse and not as broken down. The composition of sand is extremely variable, depending on the conditions and local rock sources, but the most common component of sand in inland continental settings and non tropical coastal settings is the element silica, usually in the form of the mineral quartz.
Sandcastles are built from these grains, billions of tiny particles that rub together. The strength of a sandcastle depends on how the grains interact with one another. You may ask yourself “What happens when they're wet?” It's not only beachgoers who are interested but also farmers, physicists and engineers who seem to be interested as well. Scientists are mostly the ones who understand why sand on a beach behaves as the way it does. Damp sand sticks together because water forms little grain-to-grain bridges. Adding water to damp sand fills spaces between the grains. The bridges vanish and the sand begins to flow more easily.
Sand sculpting is one of many art forms which include sand brushing, sand painting, and sand bottles. Sand castles being a type of sand sculpture resembling a miniature building, like a castle. The two basic building ingredients, sand and water are available in abundance on any local beach, so most of the action happens to takes place there. Good sand sculpture sand is somewhat dirty, having silt plus clay that helps lock the irregular shaped sand grains together for a longer lasting hold. In my research sand castles seemed to be typically made by children, mostly for the fun of it, but there are also sand sculpture contests for adults that involve large, and really complex creations.
When I was a about seven or eight I was working with my sister on a sandcastle one day, I began listening to her instructions on gathering water from the ocean to wet the sand. Not too much she would inform me. Just enough to make sand stick together without oozing everywhere. Next she would pack the damp sand into a bucket, and flip it over to create a strong base for a tower. My sister loved to build the towers taller and taller until a wall suddenly caves and the tower slides into the moat. While she did all that complicated stuff I would help or even decorate the castle by letting watery sand drip from my fingertips and adding on seas shells and seaweed, my sister was more of the brains by putting everything in place to form odd looking towers.
Sand sculptors make sure they use the right stuff for their creations to uphold. Noting that sand will not stick together unless the sand is reasonably fine. First off they do need good sand…