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Making Art From Grains of Sand

Art By
(Tim Bengel)
(Tim Bengel)

Most artists don’t work with wood, glue, or sand: they certainly don’t combine the three. Twenty-four-year-old German artist Tim Bengel, however, utilizes them to make his masterworks.

Bengel uses a slow-drying sticky adhesive to allow himself several weeks to tinker with his medium. With a fine scalpel, he carefully places grains of black, and sometimes gold, sand onto a slab of wood. Once it has dried, he covers the blank spaces with white sand—his signature step that disguises the ornate detail beneath.

For the big reveal, he lifts the wooden canvas to a vertical position. As the extra sand falls off, his finished product appears.

(Tim Bengel)
(Tim Bengel)

Bengel’s pieces, which range from portraits of family members to exteriors of ornate buildings, typically take 80 hours to complete. But his most ambitious creation to date, a depiction of the Palace of Versailles, took an estimated 300 hours. Completed in 2016, it has received worldwide attention. A short video of his various creations has nearly 25 million views on Facebook.

Learn more about Tim Bengel and view his collection here. Below, watch his video that condenses his artistic process into just seven seconds, including the dramatic moment of unveiling.