Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Carvin' Time

Over the past few years, I've had requests to share my pumpkin-carving process.
Ask and ye shall receive.
Harry Potter pumpkin design
Harry Potter
We begin by searching the Internet for ideas.

Once we find an exciting design, I either freehand a pencil sketch on the pumpkin—or if the image is intricate, I print out the design to scratch/copy onto the surface.
This year was a scratch/copy year.

Holding the print against the pumpkin, I use a sharp needle to firmly scratch the outline onto the surface. 
When the scratching is complete, I use a ball point pen to fill in the lines for greater visibility during the carve.
Once the lines are clearly drawn, using a serrated knife, I open the lid and remove out the innards with an ice cream scoop or large spoon.
 Save and dry out those seeds! Delicious recipe coming later this week!
And then it's down to biz.
I use a sturdy, serrated steak knife to do all my carving.
I have tried using "pumpkin carving kits" but I find the strength of a solid knife is more reliable.
Once the design has been penetrated, I slowly extract the knife. Then, using a controlled stabbing motion, I slowly trace the pattern with the knife.

I use very little quick sawing motion when I carve. My method is slower and more controlled.

After I've stabbed around a shape, I press against the inside of the pumpkin to determine if the piece is ready to come out.

Often, I need to gently repeat insertions around the segment before it is loose enough to push out—like a puzzle piece. Be gentle and patient.
Slice around a section until it is loose enough to slip out with minimal pressure
I find the stab technique effective to avoid breaking pieces of the design.
Slow and steady.

Once you pop out your final segment, light your pumpkin's candle and bring your design to life. VOILA!

We've really been having fun with our carvings over the past few years, and I can't wait to attempt new, more challenging designs.

Any great carving tips or tools?
Send ideas our way!

Happy HALLOWEEN, boils and ghouls!
XOXO From My Hearth to Yours
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