Happy Halloween

Halloween again? Already? Where did the year go?! It seems like only two weeks ago I was making New Year’s Resolutions:

  • Eat Right
  • Exercise
  • Carve a Pumpkin in October

Oh, well. One out of three ain’t bad, right?

Long-time readers of The Fridge know I like carving pumpkins. My first post on the topic happened three years ago where I took the opportunity to showcase my pumpkins through the years. I’m going to do that again today for two reasons: 1) I’ve been able to fill in some of the missing photos, and 2) I may have a few readers who haven’t seen it.

Here we go!

pumpkin-original
This is the design I carved for the first twenty years of my life.
pumpkin-1994
1994: My first Pumpkin Masters’ carving
pumpkin-1995
1995: My losing Pumpkin Masters submission: the Night Mare
pumpkin-1996
1996: Pumpkins on a Vine
pumpkin-1999
1999: Darth Maul
pumpkin-2001
2001: Short on time, re-used a couple older designs
pumpkin-1996
2002: Even shorter on time, carved my shirt
pumpkin-1996
2003: Spongebob Squarepants!
pumpkin-2004-alt
2004: Shrek
pumpkin-2005
2005: Neo and Agent Smith
pumpkin-2006
2006: A horrid attempt at Morpheus
pumpkin-2007
2007: The Balrog-o-Lantern
pumpkin-2008
2008: WALL-E
pumpkin-2009
2009: Snape
pumpkin-2010
2010: Harry Potter

So I’ve started a Harry Potter trend. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep it up, but if at some point in the future you see me post a carving of “Slytherin Boy #3”, be sure to let me know I’ve gone too far.

I also started carving fake pumpkins. Beginning with Snape I decided that I maybe wanted to keep the fruits of my labor instead of watching them turn into pools of black, soupy goo each year. So a few weeks ago, we restocked our supply:

halloween2011-raw-pumpkins.jpg

Once the raw materials are purchased, it’s time to select the source image. I had a much harder time with it this year. I must have gone through seven or eight Hermiones before finding a reasonably suitable picture.

halloween2011-source-photo.jpg

My technique for converting said picture to pumpkin design remains the same:

halloween2011-source-photo-3color1.jpg
Step 1: Reduce image to three colors
halloween2011-source-photo-3color2.jpg
Step 2: Convert to pumpkin colors, to help visualize final result
halloween2011-source-photo-3color3.jpg
Step 3: Clean up image for optimal carving
halloween2011-source-photo-3color4.jpg
Step 4: Create negative image, since that’s what you have to carve
halloween2011-cutting0.jpg
Step 5: Correctly size, print, and tape to pumpkin

I invited someone new to the party this year. Tada!

halloween2011-dremel.jpg

I’ve always carved pumpkins with knives and tiny saws and have never had any trouble. Well, except for how much it hurts my hand to painstakingly trim away rind using an Xacto blade. For years I’ve threatened to get a Dremel tool and this year I finally made it happen.

Though I still begin carving with this:

halloween2011-xacto.jpg

There are really only three steps: 1) cut out full holes for the bright spots, 2) cut away the rind for the half-bright spots, and 3) don’t cut anything for the dark spots.

halloween2011-cutting1.jpg

halloween2011-cutting2.jpg

halloween2011-cutting3.jpg

And after only a few short hours, tada!

pumpkin-2011
2011: Hermione Granger

Is it a good carving? Yes.

Does it look like Hermione? More or less.

Did it turn out the way I wanted? In spite of my fancy new Dremel tool, no. I was a bit disappointed with this first attempt but that’s all part of the learning process? I’ll try carving Ron Weasley next year and see if it goes better.

And at some point in the future, I’ll give Hermione another go. Right after I finish carving Slytherin Boy #3.



9 Responses to “Happy Halloween”

Charlie H. (The Girl One) said
on
October 31, 2011 at 12:17 am

Wow. Just… WOW.
And I thought our punkins were good…

MizFit said
on
October 31, 2011 at 4:27 am

SERIOUSLY I had no idea that was how people carved such intricate designs.

Im with CHARLIE except I knew my pumpkin wasnt good πŸ™‚

Biz said
on
October 31, 2011 at 6:24 am

I love that the second one has my carving in it! I can’t believe Hannah was 2 and Sarah was 1 in 1994 – now they are in college – where did the time go??

Hi Rachel! Love, Aunt B

    Charlie said
    on
    October 31, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Where does the time go? I don’t know.

Deb said
on
October 31, 2011 at 7:46 am

AWEsome. We don’t carve pumpkins at all anymore – we got into setting up a Dia de los Muertos altar each year instead, trading carving pumpkins for say, making sugar skulls and other perfectly normal activities like that.

Glad you are picking up our slack along those lines. And happy you are carving in a more permanent medium. Let me know when you officially open your Gallery!

Anna said
on
October 31, 2011 at 11:02 am

Wow! It looks amazing!

I think your obsession with Harry Potter is a bit of a worry tho!!! lol! πŸ˜‰

Happy Halloween πŸ˜€

Anna

    Charlie said
    on
    October 31, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Not so much “obsession” as “laziness”. You see, when it comes time to carve a pumpkin, the typical year gives me only hours to come up with the idea and execute (usually starting the day of). When I struck upon the HP idea, it saved me time since I didn’t have to think as much.

JohnGL said
on
November 1, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I’d forgotten about Morpheus/Gandhi πŸ™‚

    Charlie said
    on
    November 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Yeah, I like to pretend that one didn’t happen.