Master sculptor gets creative with Kelowna sand, builds giant wizard head | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Master sculptor gets creative with Kelowna sand, builds giant wizard head

Master sculptor Peter Vogelaar in Kelowna at Hot Sands Beach, Aug. 27.

A Kootenay sand sculptor who has won international sculpting competitions was challenged by winds, rain and sand conditions to create a masterpiece in Kelowna this weekend.

Peter Vogelaar, from Windlaw in the West Kootenays, created a giant wizard head, complete with castles yesterday afternoon, Aug. 27, at Hot Sands Beach as part of Kelowna Made, a family-friendly event held to celebrate Kelowna culture.

“This is some of the hardest conditions ever,” he said. The windy weather and the soft sand were not ideal conditions for the master sculptor, whose original plan was to create something that stood at least six-feet high.

On Friday Vogelaar packed a huge pile of sand to carve but when he returned on Saturday, it collapsed. Thinking on the fly, he used the smaller pile left over to create a large wizard head.

“It’s a different technique,” he said. “I just wanted to have a wizard and his castle.”

READ MORE: Osoyoos resident gets creative with all the snow in their yard

The sand is too soft to make a box but you can make a pile, a technique he doesn’t normally work with, he said.

Vogelaar said one of the biggest secrets to making the sculptures is to use a bucket with a hole in the bottom so the sand is easily packed and the bucket can be removed without disturbing the sand.

For the last 20 years, he’s been sculpting and has won the Parksville’s Beach Festival sculpting competition six times. This year, he placed third in the international competition for master sculptors.

Originally he began sculpting after seeing the ice sculptures in Vernon but making a living is easier when sculpting from sand, he said.

He wouldn’t be surprised if the wizard didn’t last overnight.

Vogelaar has also been featured in the second season of CBC’s Race Against the Tide.

In 2003, he and his sculpting partner David Ducharme won the World Sand Sculpting Championships in Harrison Hot Springs. With COVID-19 and being unable to travel, the pair have also started working with concrete, bronze, stone and steel, he said.

READ MORE: Artists turn a pile of sand into a thing of beauty

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