When kids look at one of Randy Hofman’s sand sculptures, they want to know: “How did he make it?”
Randy says all he needs is a shovel, a plastic knife, a big, wet pile of sand . . . and time.
Each of Randy’s sculptures reflects hours of hard work. Now that Randy has turned 60, he gets help in making the huge piles of sand. Different church groups or kids helping at a local ministry in Ocean City, Maryland, often show up to dig the massive hills.
After the moist sand is packed down, Randy grabs a plastic knife, climbs to the top and goes to work.
“You begin at the top and work down,” Randy says. “You clean up as you go. There’s more cleanup work than construction.”
Once he starts an image, he rarely stops. Maybe Randy takes a bathroom break or eats dinner, but he’ll often begin at 10 in the morning and not go home until 4 a.m. the following day.
“I don’t know where the strength comes from,” Randy says. “The Lord helps me.”
Randy’s art causes people to stop and look, but his ministry doesn’t end there. Sometimes he stands near his sculpture and answers questions or shares about its meaning. Other times a church group will put on a skit or play worship music. Almost all the time he leaves tracts in a plastic jug that explain what it means to live for Jesus Christ. Over the years, Randy has given away over 1 million tracts.
People often ask Randy when he’s going to quit making his amazing creations. He doesn’t have plans to stop and hopes to find an apprentice who can take over for him.
That’s how Randy got started. In 1974, he moved from New York City to Ocean City to pursue his dream of being an oil painter. As he walked down the boardwalk, he ran into Marc Altamar creating Christian images in the sand.
“The Bible themes were endearing to me,” Randy says. “I’d do my oil painting in the day and come help Marc in the evening. I was his apprentice.”
Marc moved to Florida in 1981, but Randy has kept up Marc’s legacy of telling people about Jesus in the sand.
To see more of Randy's sand sculptures, check out his website.
Copyright © 2012 by Focus on the Family. Photo © Randy Hofman; used by permission.