Yesterday I carved a pumpkin. It had been in my apartment for weeks, and I kept meaning to do something with it, but I didn’t know what. I guess in this case, it’s lucky my apartment is a bit cold, so it stayed fresh over time. Finally inspiration struck, and I started carving.
It took me most of a day to finish it. After removing all the guts and roasting the seeds, I began the carving process by sketching a forest onto the pumpkin with a permanent marker. I carved around the whole pumpkin, which I’d never done before, and I knew I would be compromising stability, but I wanted to give it a try anyway.
First I cut out the largest holes with a sharp paring knife, making sure that I left enough flesh in between each hole for the pumpkin to retain its structure. To get more detailed areas with thin branches, I carved away the skin, but left the inner flesh intact. To do this, I used the tip of the knife to trace the edge of the area that I wanted to cut away. Then I used a straight vegetable peeler (this style) to gently “pry” the skin away from the lighter flesh underneath.
After many hours of carving, I was relieved that I was finally done with my pumpkin masterpiece, since my hand was rather sore. If I do another one of these, I’ll sharpen the knife as I work – by the end, the cutting was becoming difficult. When the blade is sharp, cutting is easier, and I don’t grip the knife so tightly – same goes for everyday cooking, but generally I’m not chopping for hours to make myself a meal.
I was pretty pleased with my results, and even more happy once I saw the results from turning off the lights and putting a candle inside:
Those are five views of my pumpkin. It looks so different from each side, and has no “back” – an element that I struggled with in my 3-D ventures during my art studies. A pumpkin, round(-ish) already, is the perfect medium for such a sculpture.
What will you carve into a pumpkin this year?
Happy Halloween, everyone!