Learn to carve a pumpkin that will last a lifetime. Easy, moderate, and challenging patterns will be available for you to select. Carving tools will be available for a minimal cost. Pumpkins are available at local craft stores in the five to fifteen-dollar range. 14-inch smooth pumpkins are used most often; although I have carved using sizes that range from six inches up to 20 inches. Guidance will be provided in the areas of design, technique and useful tips that will make your pumpkin a highlight at Halloween. Artificial pumpkins are made of a low-density polyurethane foam and look like a real pumpkin with several advantages. Once carved, they last a lifetime unlike real pumpkins that last a few weeks and then turn into something very scary. Light and easy to handle artificial pumpkins carve in a consistent manner without the mess of seed/pulp removal. No need for the use of large knives that could slip. Carving tools used are small saws that are two to four inches long. Once you gain experience and graduate to more complex designs, the use of X-Acto knives are preferred for tight, intricate cuts. No candles are used to light your creation; instead a LED stick up light gives a safe and powerful illumination that showcases your creation.
Students bring their own craft talents to the class and apply their talents to create a unique design. A carriage with wheels and decorations housing a beautiful princess was a wonderful pumpkin design by one participant.
Variations on the standard design include: pumpkin in a pumpkin, shadow pumpkins where a design is cut front and back giving the front main image a second unique shadow image on the wall in back. For example, the main image is one of two mice looking scared. Why? On the wall behind the pumpkin is a projected shadow image of a cat peering down at them. Carve and paint the outside of your pumpkin to add to the effect during the day. Image of a cat painted black is a great effect. Pumpkin carving technique is taught as a class with individual instructor assistance. I assist with choosing the appropriate design to match your skill level. Attach the pattern to the pumpkin and transfer the pattern using a small punch with a point. A larger punch opens a starter hole and then the fun begins. I show where to start and how to proceed as you carve your pattern in order to avoid making cuts in delicate already carved parts of your pumpkin. I also provide the history of Halloween and why we carve pumpkins. Artificially carved pumpkins make a great gift for family and friends. Carve one each year and watch your pumpkin patch grow. This is a fun class. Hope to see you this fall.
Marvin Dudek, Instructor