All it took was one face--one hideously creepy face to get me into a pumpkin carving craze that has left my right forearm soar, heaps of pumpkin entrails destined for the compost and bowls of broiled pumpkin seeds.
My parents asked me to carve a pumpkin for them diced up a creepy-faced demon that should keep the neighbor kids jumpy (last photo). But it had been a long time since I really got serious about carving a pumpkin. I had forgotten how much pleasure can be found in the process--using all the layers of the pumpkin to create the desired look. Pumpkin skin left on appears black when lit. Varied thickness of flesh creates tones of orange color and a cut all the way through emits a bright yellow or light.
Multiple cuts made all the way through the flesh can let wind through which can put out a flame, so I have often added a globe ice lantern to protect the flame and make a stunning center to radiate the light.
After receiving a few big pumpkins as a gift from a local pumpkin grower, I decided to go a little crazy. So far, I have carved 6 pumpkins, but 2 were carved specifically with globe ice lanterns in mind.
One was inspired by a Japanese garden lantern. I cut a grid pattern all the way through the pumpkin on 4 sides, so the globe ice lantern could be seen. With a linoleum cutting tool, I cut a pattern surrounding the grids. Another pumpkin sliced in half became the top and bottom. All stacked nicely and sitting in the garden near the entrance of the house it looks quite charming.
But my favorite of all the pumpkins I have carved this season is the Mad Ice-Brained Scientist (seen above). A large globe ice lantern became the evil, yet beautiful brain that was installed in the back of the carved pumpkin.
Keeping the skin in place so that it would appear black against the globe ice lantern, I carved it to look like wavy lace. Into the bottom of the pumpkin I carved a sinister face complete with creepy grin. A 5" glass bowl went on the inside bottom of the pumpkin to house the candle and support the ice lantern--keep it at the desired height. I cut a slit in the back of the pumpkin to allow room for the globe ice lantern to squeeze in and then lit it up.
The neighbor kids came knocking while I was taking photos and they gave it 3 thumbs up which was good enough for me!
As I mentioned, my forearms are sore from all this carving, so I am pretty sure that the Scientist should be my last pumpkin this season--but I'm not promising anything.
A merry scary night to all of you and enjoy the glow!
Here are a few more jack-o-lanterns just for fun . . .
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