Santa Barbara County Fair’s sandy scene carved by Los Osos duo

Using a random assortment of concrete finishing and kitchen tools, including a cake-decorating spatula, Greg and Brandi Glenn chipped away this week at a compacted block of sand near the entrance to the Santa Barbara County Fair at the Santa Maria Fairpark.

The Los Osos couple started their company, Sandscapes, in 1991. They became professional sand sculptors in 1987 and now manage several teams of sculptors across the country.

From now until Saturday, the Glenns will shape 35 tons of sand that they packed into wooden forms, which are removed at stages throughout the sculpting process. They only use sand and water in their work.

The work is heavy on physical labor, Greg Glenn said. And some people don’t like the temporary nature of the art — that a piece which took days to create is destroyed so quickly.

However, “If you have a strong back and are OK with that temporary (nature), you’re a sand sculptor,” he said.