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Sand Sculptor Creates Art In Ocean City

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Randy Hofman has been making sand sculptures in Ocean City for over 30 years.
Bryan Russo
Randy Hofman has been making sand sculptures in Ocean City for over 30 years.

If you've ever strolled down the boardwalk in Ocean City, Md., you've probably seen the artwork of sculptor Randy Hofman. He's been creating massive sand sculptures on the beach for more than 30 years.

He makes his art with little more than a plastic knife and a bottle of watered-down Elmer's glue, which he sprays on his sculptures to help them survive wind and rain.

"It puts a crust on it," explains Hofman. "And that protects them, so they can last a month or so."

Hofman began making sand sculptures in 1981. He started out in a remote corner of Assateague Island.

"I did a Jesus laying on the cross, just flat on the ground, and it was okay," says Hofman. "But my early sculptures, they were just blobs, so it's taken a lot of devotion to keep honing the craft."

Hofman now makes sand sculptures in a prominent spot on the Ocean City boardwalk, and much of his work is Biblical in nature. But he also gets commissions from paying customers, including a man who recently hired him to create a sculpture helping him to propose to his girlfriend.

Hofman, 60, says he's probably got another decade of sculpting ahead of him. After that, he'd like to pass the baton, or more precisely, the plastic knife, to the next generation.

"They say, 'Is this your church?' Well, in a way it's a church, but more I'm an evangelist," he says. "The bringer of good news."

[Music: "Sea of Love" by Tom Waits from Brawlers / "Love Letters in the Sand" by Benny Goodman from Texas Tea Party]

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