Monday, 29 October 2012

Pumpkin Carving

This year, my favourite retailer ever, Lee Valley Tools, had a special on a pumpkin carving kit.  I've bought several over the years, but they were of such poor quality they didn't survive their first cuts.  Knowing Lee Valley's commitment to quality, and their generous return policy, I couldn't go wrong.  So I picked up a multi-blade tool and a book entitled "Extreme Pumpkin Carving".

While the Bean and I were in the store picking up our purchase, they happened to have a pumpkin carving demonstration with their resident carver, John, presiding.  An affable and chatty guy, he picked up his pumpkin and in about 15 minutes and after several judicious cuts had transformed the squash into a really cool freaky face.  This, along with our new book, inspired the Bean and me.  Our pumpkins would not be the hackneyed triangle eyes and nose of years past.  No, this year we would be artistes and produce something a little more creative, a little more outré.

John at Lee Valley made it all look so easy.  No transferring patterns from paper to pumpkin for him.  Right from his mind straight to his carving tools - ad hoc carving.  More than thirty years of carving experience let him do this, he said as he deftly wielded his tools.  If John could do it this way, then the Bean and I would do it this way as well (though we did draw rough outlines of our designs on the pumpkin with marker).  For the novice, this way of carving is HARD.  Below are the results of our efforts.  Mine took me an hour, the Bean's, three.  I'm not altogether pleased with my result, though, in fairness, this was my first time.  I do like the Bean's though.  We have two more pumpkins to carve, and I think we will stick with the cliché of triangles for those.  Next year, I will plan ahead a bit more and tackle the project over a couple of days - do a more detailed drawing or work from a pattern transferred to the pumpkin.

Smiling Mad Man by Geoff Burrows
October 2012

Witchy Woman by Lena Burrows
October 2012

I am self critical by nature, but I have to say the pictures don't show the details very well and they do look better in-person.

May you and yours be haunted by many ghouls on All Hallows Eve, which for my American friends should be near certain with the upcoming election, but I digress.

1 comment:

  1. Those are so much fun! I haven't carved pumpkins in a long time. Maybe next year.