Super sandcastles

WORLD-renowned sand sculptor Dennis Massed will reveal the nitty-gritty secrets of his craft in a free sand-sculpting workshop on his home beach of Noosa tomorrow.

The 55-year-old artist will teach novices how to make free-standing Moroccan arches and hollow castles using only sand and water.

Those who attended the globe-trotting sand wizard's classes last Christmas will be shown how to fashion dolphins, human torsos and human hair from the sands on Noosa's Main Beach on Wednesday, and at Peregian on Friday.

"Moroccan-style and free-standing arches can be technically very difficult. What took me 10 years to figure out, takes only 10 minutes to impart to others," Dennis said.

Sand art has this year taken Dennis to the US, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, Darwin, Cairns, Palm Cove, Wagga, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Noosa.

His five-metre-high sculpture of a windswept Viking won him the World Sand Sculpting Championship in 2003 in Sondervig, Denmark.

From 2000 to 2005, Dennis and other top sand artists travelled to Lulang in China where they produced eight-metre-high sculptures each weighing 330 tonnes. Sand sculpting was a huge tourism attraction in Europe and Asia, he said.

"Over 200,000 people came to the opening in Lulang and 7.5 million people paid to see the sculptures. The event is worth $180 million a year to the government."

The first two-hour lesson, subsidised by Noosa Council, begins at 8am on Wednesday, January 3, with another at 4pm.

On Friday, January 5, the free workshops will be repeated at Peregian Beach at the same times. Look for the marquees.

EVENTS: Tuesday, January 2: Children's stories and music at Noosa Library with Calamity Jo and Deputy Ted.

Wednesday, 3 ? Thursday 4: Jack and the Beanstalk games and stories at Noosa Library with Gail Robinson.

Friday 5 ? Saturday 6: Kite-making workshops at Cooroy Butter Factory and Noosa Library with Tony Rice.

Friday 5: Animation creation workshop from 3 ? 6 pm with 3D models, storyboarding, camera techniques and adding sound effects to your animated short film.

For details phone 5442 4411.

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