Anne Marie Taberdo ready for Australian Sand Sculpting competition at Beyond the Sand festival

She's cut her teeth in the ice sculpting trade, but now Anne Marie Taberdo is ready to conquer sand.

The Blair Athol sculptor's talents on the tools have taken her all around the world, carving in competitions in Germany, Japan, the UK, Alaska and here at home.

But Covid has prevented Ms Taberdo from competing in any shows for a year.

Now she's excited to start carving sculpting again on the Gold Coast at the Beyond the Sand festival.

"After a year of non-competing, I'm actually really nervous," she said.

"I'm always nervous with sand competitions. I still feel like a rookie carver even though this is my third sand competition - even more so because of the year-long break.

"I'm sure it will be just like riding a bike, but it's nerve-wracking to be going back in front of the audience for the first time and remembering what it's like to work the material."

Ms Taberdo said she was able to "literally go back to the drawing board" during her break - she rediscovered her love of drawing with pen and paper.

She said she was grateful for that window of opportunity to go back to basics, and feels certain the drawing will help her become an even better sculptor.

The theme of this year's Australian Sand Sculpting competition at Beyond the Sand is the circus, and Ms Taberdo's specific allocated theme is 'ringmaster'.

"I'm basing it on my own memories of what a circus is," she said.

"I went to a couple when I was younger and my memory is of that nostalgic feeling of the circus, with the big tents and the ringmaster dressed up in his waistcoat, really shouting out with gusto and welcoming the audience.

"That's my inspiration and what I want my design to be about. I want people to be able to hear the ringmaster, and feel that he's really welcoming you.

"The 'wow' moment is what I want to portray in my design."

Beyond the Sand will see Ms Taberdo and nine other world-renowned sculptors compete over three days to deliver the best sand sculpture, with the winner to be crowned on March 15.

Audiences will also be able to vote for the 'People's Choice' winner.

Ms Taberdo said she's excited to speak with the crowd about her work, as sharing the art of sculpting is one of her great joys.

"I love to share what I do, because I would have loved someone to share with me when I as a young sculptor," she said.

"I would encourage people to always keep your mind open to opportunities you wouldn't even have thought existed.

"I never even thought about the world of ice sculpting, but once I opened my mind to that, that opened up the opportunity of snow carving and representing Australia in a snow carving show.

"There are so many avenues to go down, so I would say to young sculptors: don't limit yourselves, the opportunities are endless."

Keep up to date with Ms Tabredo's work on Instagram via @annemarietaberdo.

This story Blair Athol sand carver prepares for Gold Coast competition first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.