Recently, while walking home from buying pet food at Oak and 16th, I came across a meticulously crafted sand castle. It was an odd thing to stumble on: I’ve never seen a sand castle in Vancouver at the beach, much less in a residential neighbourhood. There was a website listed on the small platform that hoisted the small statue, so I did a bit of research and got in touch with its creator.
Delayne Corbett is a freelance sculptor. The Nelson-born artist started carving stone about 20 years ago, then moved onto ice and snow 12 years ago. For the last six, he’s been specializing in sand, only one of a handful here to do so in Vancouver.
The medium he works in depends on the season. Ice and stone, obviously, is busier in the winter months, while he mostly focuses on sand sculpture in the summer. His stonework takes him through the year.
Locally, his work, which can take up to 24 hours to create, has been showcased at Car Free Day and Maker Faire.
A good majority of his clients are BC-based production and event companies – film and TV sets, banquets and weddings. Several times a year, he’s flown around the world to compete in sand or ice sculpting competitions – this year alone has taken him to Finland, Denmark, and all over the States and B.C.
Corbett works out of the garage of his home. He makes a point of building something that the neighbourhood can enjoy – hence the sand castle that originally stopped me in my tracks.
“I do it out of practice, performance and public art,” he says. “I just really enjoy carving.”