Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Sandman


While we were on vacation in Jordan, we took the kids to Kan Zaman (Which translates to Once Upon a Time) to watch the Sandman design his fragile amazing glass bottles with the most beautiful colored sand (some dyed and some natural) eat some traditional food, sit on Bedouin coaches and listen to Arabic music. 

At the Sandman, every glass bottle was blown by a glass artist  at that place and I so wanted to the kids to watch him doing his thing but unfortunately for them and I, they were renovating and relocating the whole workshop that we were unable to watch such an amazing skill. 

Luckily for us though, the talented Sandman was there.  He was amazingly patient with the kids showing them every step carefully for them to see how he made the camels and the hills. The kids were glued to his side watching his every move.

I tried to snap pictures of every step he took and I hope that you will be able to see how he did it.







Depending on whether the customer would like a name on the bottle, the Sandman draws (upside down) the name with glue from a syringe. He then puts some black sand and shakes the bottle for the sand to stick to the glue and the customer would see the word clearly.











Then he pours in some sand on the bottom of the glass and some black sand to form two small bumps... he then pushes some black sand with a pin like tool to form the camel legs.








  



Can you see the legs of the camel?







The camel starts to emerge once the Sandman pours a little more black sand on top to finish off the hump, the neck and the head.  He pushes the sand and plays with it from side to side until he creates the rest of the animal.  I still could not figure out exactly how he did it but he had such quick and gentle hands that made it look so easy.










He moved the bottle from side to side when he poured the sand for the hills... but that is all I know...

I have no idea how in the world he did it... but notice the sun, the streaks in the mountains... and the distant bird on the left hand side close to the sun.

The last step is to stop the sand from escaping... he puts a piece of play-dough thing that hardens later keeping the sand bottle the way it is for years. 





I asked the Sandman about the person who taught him this skill and whether it ran in the family... or if it was a family business... He told me that his whole family was skilled and creative but they all did other things.... he taught himself how to do such a beautiful thing with much observation and practice.

The kids were not the only ones who enjoyed watching this talented man... I was too... I had always loved watching such work... Everywhere you go in Jordan, be it to Petra, Jerash or Aqaba, you would find a few men or women sitting around making those beautiful sand bottles. 

There are other types of sand drawings... the carpet is one of my favorite but the Sandman said that it takes him much longer to make and if I had time, he could show me... unfortunately, the food had arrived, we had to eat and get going before my daughter felt tired.

Here are the kids watching the Sandman's every move.... I ended up  making two for my son and daughter with their names in Arabic and English... and also taking some gifts for our friends back in Bangkok.

11 comments:

Shopgirl said...

Lovely! I enjoy watching sand art and your photos are great at illustrating the wonderful process of its creation.

Isa said...

This is an absolutely amazing art! I remember when I saw the first one and I couldn't stop thinking how that was possible. I love it! And it's a grat thing for the kids to see!

Tabouleh said...

Thank you Shop Girl and Isa... it sure is a talent... one that needs so much practice and years of experience... I was in awe of this man!

paula devi said...

The patience and concentration needed to do this is unbelievable. Such beautiful work. It must have been mezmerizing.

Jan said...

That work is so beautiful qand absolutely amazing! I would be standing right there with the children with my mouth hanging open. Great photos thank you. x

T.O. Geezer said...

Very interesting! The Sandman is a talented artist indeed and your photos of him working are great!

God bless and have a nice week :-)

~Ron

paula devi said...

what patience and concentration this takes. what a beautiful art form. how in the world are those skinny little camel legs possible? What a wonderful adventure for your kids.

Ofelia said...

What an amazing ability and the ends results are so impressive and full of the shapes and colors of the desert.
By the way, the kids are so cute!

Tabouleh said...

How wonderful it is to go for a day to visit some friends and come back to find such great and warm comments... thank you!
It is definitely impressive how he does all this... If you look closely at the carpet design you will be amazed to see how the shapes are similar in size... how does he do that with sand, I wonder!? I cannot do that with a proper ruler... it takes me time...
Thank you all for your sweet blessings and compliments on the kids... Love and sunshine to all

Sazan said...

Oh my god!! You know what? when I visited Jordan, twice, I would pass by and never had the time or the chance to see it done or even to get one done for myself. It was always at he back of my mind how it was done. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! But this is talent and definately true art-- akeed the best gift as well. Don't you just feel there is so much love going into making each of those? It's special.

By the way... your kids are soooo cute!!! Give them warm hugs on my behalf--- I am still waiting for our paths to cross and so that we can meet sometime.

p.s. Can you skype?

Tabouleh said...

Thank you so much Sazan.... so good to hear from you and read your comment... love reading them as always...
Next time you wish to visit Jordan let me know... our paths will cross ... I am positive of that.... would love to visit beautiful Kurdistan... I have seen your pictures and so many other ones on the Internet... so you never know...
I am so glad you enjoyed the post... next... have one made just for you! BY the way... the boy with the orange t-shirt is actually Maha's nephew... and mine... the other one is my son...