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In the 1980s, the Pacific Northwest was the hotbed of sandcastle activity in the world. The World Championships were held on the black sands of White Rock, BC, and drew in large crowds.
The 1907 World Championships in White Rock was the world’s first organized sand sculpting event. By the 70s, it had become by far the largest attended event, attracting over 200,000 people. The first-place prize money for the best sandcastle was $5,000.
The Sand Sculpture Co. (SSC) started over 35 years ago and is the product of these contests and the teams that competed against each other. Back then, everything was called a sandcastle and washed away in the high tide at the end of the day.
Meet the Team
Owner | Master Sculptor
An artist by background and training, Ted discovered that sand sculpting is the ideal combination of art and sport. Beginning as a co-captain of the competitive team Totally in Sand in the 80s, he has helped set eight world records in sand sculpture duly noted by Guinness World Records. Ted has won several major competitions over his 37-year career.
Ted is the author of the acclaimed The Art of Sandcastling as well as Sandcastle in a Box. He was also recognized in the book The Sculpture Reference as one of 288 leading contemporary sculptors.
He will someday finish a novel titled Halloween was Yesterday, based on a true story from his youth when the annual trick-or-treating festivities were moved from Sunday to Saturday. Everyone in Coeur d’Alene, ID seemed to have gotten the Halloween bulletin except the Siebert family on Fernan Hill.
Siebert got his AA degree from North Idaho College, where his father taught for 30 years. The Siebert Building at NIC was named after Ted’s father, Harlan, and is also the same building Ted took his first class—Painting 101—as a college sophomore.
Ted graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in creative writing. He has published several titles as an illustrator and author.
Ted has also taught sculpture at SCAD as a guest artist in Savannah. Along with sand, he carves wood and paints in oil.
A native of the Pacific Northwest, Ted now resides in the Milwaukee area and is restoring a national historic landmark—the Goll Mansion—in his spare time.
Ted has three grown children in the Chicago area named Danielle, Nic, and Augustus. He also has a grandson named Anthony and granddaughters, Joes and Charlotte.
As an industrial designer, Damon uses his technical and artistic skills on the sand pile. He is a world record holder, solo and four-time World Champion, and twelve-time Canadian Champion with his competition team. Damon feels sand sculpting is the most amazing and intense medium where he can apply performance, engineering, and artistic expression in one medium.
He is a graduate of Carleton University.
He owns and operates Codetta, a product design company based in Victoria, BC. Along with 13 patents, Codetta received the 2011 Spark Pro Silver Award, a Best Products of 2002 Award by Business Week and USA Today, and a Red Dot Design honorable mention.
Damon and his wife Charlotte (also a sand sculptor) live on Vancouver Island, BC. They are raising their sons Roan and Ziggy in their stunning architectural home he designed and built.
Fred’s first exposure to sand sculpting was at the age of 5 on an Ireland Beach with his father. Fred sat on the beach as quietly as a mouse with his feet extended out while his father built a race car around him. It affected him greatly because he hasn’t stopped talking about it to the media in the 35 years Ted has known him.
Sand Sculpting Competitions and Achievements
After the family moved to Canada from Ireland, Fred discovered sand sculpting again in the mid-1980s. He headed a team with a devastatingly long record of wins for both the Sandblasters team and the Sand Boxers. They won several Canadian, US, and World Championships.
By the early 1990s, Fred began sculpting professionally, first as a sand sculptor on the road and then in a bronze foundry back home in Victoria. Fred was part of the 2015 and 1993 Guinness World Record teams.
Fred balances his 35-year sculpting career between sand and his work in public bronze sculptures on display throughout British Columbia. He has served as president of Vancouver Island’s sculpture guild and works with sculpture parks and walks throughout Western Canada.
Fred lives on Mayne Island with his partner Lisa and has a grown son named Shay in Victoria.
Martin de Zoete
Martin won best architecture at the World Championships in 1999. He has been a professional sand and ice sculptors for over 20 years. Ted sees Martin as something of a rival, see-sawing world records against him. Some were successful and others were less so. But we’re doing our best to get him on our side, and he loves visiting North America. We’re happy to have such a talented man.
Martin graduated from the Delft University of Technology with a degree in architecture.
He is originally from Holland and resides with his wife Marcela, a Japanese language professor at the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan. The two have a terrific backstory with their children’s names, Frederick and Wilma.
Buck Hoover grew up in land-locked Woodstock, IL. He came into sand sculpture by having the good fortune of sitting next to the owner’s daughter Danielle and becoming her best friend in 9th grade Algebra. Before Buck could drive a car, he was packing sand for Ted and his team during summer vacations and between swim meets in high school and college.
That was over 17 years ago, and Buck is still involved with sand sculpture. Thank goodness for us. He has helped us complete many large-scale projects.
Buck is a graduate of Carthage University in Environmental Science. He is an avid outdoorsman and a strict small-footprint environmentalist. After graduation, he bolted from the corn fields of Illinois to Colorado and immediately worked his way to become a professional mountain guide in his spare time while working in a classified job for a satellite company.
He is an experienced class-5 rock climber. He also surfs a bit and farms with his dog Leroy in Boulder, CO.
Buck also hails from a creative family. His mother Denise Hoover is a noted artist from Woodstock, IL, who got her MFA in Painting after retiring at 65 in the insurance business.