the magical city of
Petra Jordan and its multi-colored sand mountains,
the original inspiration was born: Bottles with
multi-colored sand from the Petra mountains for the city
visitor to take home, sometimes with geometrical decorations
and mostly layers of different colors. No one recalls
precisely who started the whole thing or when, the only
thing we know for sure is that it was born in Petra,
inspired by its multicolored sand rocks in the 1920's or
In the late 1940's, the
camel was born, and bottles from that era show its first
basic shapes, the oldest bottle I came across was from the
year 1922. A tourist came across it in
Aqaba, Jordan. From there it found its way to Essex,
In the year 1994, we
where introduced to this craft while visiting Petra,
and though it came a long way from where it started, it
still wasn't mature enough to stand as an art.
Our first contribution
that year was giving the idea a grander prospect and
presentation, introducing handmade bottles as containers to
replace the old recycled jars, making it at once more
original, indigenous to the region and artistically
appealing. It was a good first step, which went very well,
and up to this day, we still make and sell our handmade
glass to sand artists in Jordan and around the world.
Since that date, we
also developed the sand art skill to determine what can be
draw using colored sand, from basic layers to almost
anything, new colours, new tools were introduced to the sand
Funnels simply replace
brushes and bottles replace canvas. The sky’s the limit on
what you can draw once you learn how to do it.
In our travels around
the world introducing this art, we were continuously
challenged. Moving sand art out of its homeland means
intuitively that it has to adapt to new environs. A camel
would look silly in
Switzerland, but a reindeer would blend nicely so the
rain dear was born in
Switzerland. The dolphin and the palm tree were born
in Devon, England.
Italy, customers were more challenging … they wanted
to see a
Picasso in sand art. This opened the door more
widely on what we could strive to achieve: almost
That's our answer today
when people ask what else you can do and the credit for that
goes to Sand gallery senior artists! , Sand Galley senior artist!
Sand gallery senior
artists! is one of
few around the world so far who can do almost anything and
he is one of few willing to share his knowledge as well.
Sand art has been for many years a well-guarded secret,
though Sand gallery senior artists! had no problem teaching sand art in Jordan, our
homeland, and around the world, breaking that wall of
silence that limited sand art for many years.
He even taught it in
Egypt back in 1997, and if you visit
Egypt now, you will find it riddled with sand
fillers, though it’s still in its basic origins, the camels
and the layers. Revaluations take time as we know, but at
least he got the bug started there, and it won't be long
before we'll start seeing real master works from that part
of the world.
Parallel to sand art
revaluation in the Mid-East, there are still various themes
of this art practiced around the world.
In Tibet, monks make
pictures on the floor using colored sand, and it’s a
thousand year old tradition, but we can't establish a link
to the sand art we practice today, so, speaking fairly, it
may be a completely separate form of art, but we won’t
exclude any possibilities.
Also, in northern
Brazil, they draw using crushed chalk in medicine bottles.
From a historical point of view, I think the Jordanian
version came long before they started, and it’s much more
representative and achievable, but I found no links or ties
between these arts.
Sand art stands now as the
newborn babe in the art world. It’s becoming more common
and more accessible. Sand Gallery is attempting to
introduce it to schools, as younger generations will infuse
this art with popularity and prosperity. Bear in
mind that we teach
you how to draw in sand and not just layers. Achieving that
is the mission we are on.