I hope everyone had a happy Halloween yesterday. Here at the Fridge Halloween can only mean two things: 1) the candy report, and 2) the pumpkin.
First, the candy report. How much did I have? None. Yay me. In fact, total caloric input for the day was just 1770 calories. I’d go eat more but I’m frankly just not hungry right now. Second, the pumpkin. If you’ve been reading BTTF for the past two years, you’ve already seen my pumpkins. If not, go back and read the 2008 and the 2009 posts on the topic.
Last year I carved my first fake pumpkin. I figure with all the work I put into them, I should at least be able to keep them around for more than four hours. And since I picked Severus Snape, it was only logical that I should try an entire Harry Potter series. Which meant just one thing: this year would be Harry.
So just like last year, here’s the complete photo walk-through of the process, beginning with the reference photo. I begin this project by searching the web for some quintessential picture of the subject. This year, I settled on a traditional Year One picture of Harry:
With that in hand, I reduce it to three colors, since that’s all you get when carving: 1) all the way cut, 2) none of the way cut, 3) part of the way cut.
To help visualize, I change the colors to be more pumpkiny:
After that, I clean it up, to make it “carveable”:
The final step is creating the negative image, since you have to carve the negative in order for this to work.
And now we begin! First step is easy: stick the print-out on the pumpkin. Be sure to check out my half eaten piece of peanut butter toast there on the right.
Next, grab a sharp X-acto blade and cut out the black areas:
Here’s a sample of the first few areas cut out. It’s important to start with the small shapes first, since you need a lot of surface area to hold the frail bits together. My main worry on this pattern was getting Harry’s thin-rimmed glasses cut out right.
Next I pulled out a drill to do the eye glint. This was actually my only real mistake today. The drill bit was too large and I don’t really like the way the eyes turned out. Of course, that’s something only I can see. It probably looks fine to almost everyone else.
Here we have all the black areas removed. That was the easy part.
Next come the “half” cuts: cutting away the surface and leaving the white behind. I really need to get better tools to do this next year. The knife handle really began digging into my knuckles.
Here I am hard at work. No, I have no idea where all my hair went.
Look at that blade in motion!
And tada! The final cut. It doesn’t look like much, does it? It’s amazing how adding a little light to it turns this negative into a positive.
The pumpkin, the artist, and the blade. I cut out the bottom of the pumpkins for lighting. And since these fake pumpkins are highly flammible, I can’t stick a candle in there. So I plop it down on a lamp. Works for me.
And one shot of last year’s Snape.
The final step, of course, is to put them both in the front window and start handing out candy. It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year.
Can’t wait until 2011!