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I don't know jack (o'lantern)!

 
 
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 05:23 pm
So Mo was all envious of our neighbors cool jack o'lanterns and not being one to let envy stand in the way of free pumpkins in the back yard I decided to try my hand at carving a jack o'lantern.

I visited all the cool sites and while I agree a Napoleon Dynamite jack o'lantern is interesting, I'm not going to buy special tools or spend hours carving up a pumpkin.

Despite my visits to art-pumpkin sites I didn't find any real information for amature, kitchen tool only division carving tips.

Clue me in all you amature, kitchen tool carvers! Do you have any tips on cool jack o'lanterning?

I'm practicing because I'd kind of like to make a pirate fish jack o'lantern from one of the really beautiful, fish shape inspiring pumpkins from the yard.

Please feel not only free, but encouraged to post your personally carved jack o'lantern along with your tips.

I, in turn, will feel freely encouraged to ignore any post that mentions a "pumpkin saw".

Here is my first attempt:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v667/boomerangagain/jack.jpg
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 3,100 • Replies: 39

 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 05:31 pm
Coooool....!

We just bought pumpkins yesterday and left them in the trunk, and E.G. stole 'em (well, drove my car -- with the pumpkins in the trunk -- to work when he was supposed to take the bus) and so we haven't done ours yet. (Planned to do that today.)

I'll try to take some pics when we do.

I did one one year (before sozlet) that was a sun that turned out pretty well, but wasn't very scary.

I just try to use the thinnest knife possible.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 05:48 pm
Saw some <and took pix> cool ones in the East Village Monday.
Will try to download/upload/whatever.

I just saw a pattern for one done using a watermelon - very cool - cuz the inside looks, like, blooooooooody!

Steak knives, screwdrivers, melon ballers ... lotsa tools work for different effects.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 06:28 pm
By the way, is that a pumpkin you grew? Way impressive, if so!!
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 06:41 pm
Nah. That is a pumpkin that we bought at the pumpkin patch. My pumpkins are all white. They're squatty but really beautiful -- very semetrical. I'm saving those for my more... ahem.... advanced work.

My pumpkins are not quite that big, but almost. They are shorter and rounder and they don't have a bad side like this one did. Really though, I need a bit more horizontal design -- that is why I'm thinking pirate fish (from the Flying Spaghetti Monster web site).

I will photograph my own personally grown pumpkins as I get them carved. Honestly though, they seem really dense in comparison. I'm wondering how white pumpkins differ from the normal.

Please do take pics when you carve them up, soz! I'd love to see. If you don't have digital did you know that thay now make disposable digital cameras!?

I got some good practical experience in today. I might try the white pumpkins tomorrow.

Okay there eBeth. You can post your fancy New York pumpkins as long as they don't totally embarrass me. We will change the rules to allow pumpkins that you have personally witnessed - I only made this "yourself" rule because I didn't want a bazillion links to pumpkin carving sites that I can easily Google. Sites that require pumpkin saws and a chance to have seen Napolean Dynamite.

But.... urrrr.... since you're here and all...... this might be a nice thread to also discuss an amature version of what in the heck to do with pumpkin guts.

I separated my seeds out (and learned that doing so under a running tap of tepid water expidites the process). I'm going to save some for planting and roast some for snacking.

I'm not so sure of what I should so with the pumpkin flesh. I think I probably have to cook the stuff before I freeze it. I would kind of like to make pumpkin/sweet potato/pecan pie or something around Thanksgiving.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 06:50 pm
Oooh, the pirate fish is a great idea.

One of them will just be sozlet's drawing, I'll cut it out. No particular ideas for the other one... hmmm...
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 08:11 pm
i dont know jack about pumpkins but-

i know alot of people who take basic coloring print outs ( witches, faces etc.) and tape them to the pumpkin.
Using a thin pen, or pencil. they poke holes along the lines of the picture , careful to leave the pumpkin skin connected..
take off the paper and use a small knife to 'connect the dots' and voi---lah!
instant pumpkin carving.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 08:21 pm
Boomer, I like your first carving. Besides cutting, you can skin the pumpkin and thin the flesh to cause a diffused glow of light. I don't know if I have old carvings photographed, let me look...... I found one photo:

http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0RACXAgETBGiLh2nZDOeOOVd!qe8i2ForTay5BIGGyMGshb3YHU5dqoEgcf1FNscu3qrQceaQ3!Bzz9zA7V*1cvtv5gQ!jCPt78qze2fJ1uw/PA210019.JPG
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 08:46 pm
Oh littlek -- those are great. I love using the stem as a nose! For my squatty pumpkins that might really work!

I did read about the transfer stuff, shewolf but to me that seems a bit like cheating.... but it is soooo tempting.

I do not draw well and I am always tempted to trace but..... I dunno.....

There is a "master carver" who lives nearby. He travels the continent carving massive pumpkins. He uses only kitchen tools but he does do that thinning out, glowy type thing. I havent thought about trying it on a less than 1,000 pound pumpkin but perhaps......

Hmmmmm.....

Yeah... Okay..... Maybe if I......
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 08:49 pm
Oh gosh! I nearly forgot. Thank you for liking my first carving, littlek!

It is really harder than I thought to translate an idea into a pumpkin!

<Impossible! For a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage. Impossible!>

Impossible things are happening every day!
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 08:58 pm
I have been doing a lot of scenes on pumpkins, rather than faces. I make a tilted house with windows and atree on each side and fill up the middle with grave stones. I'll toss a moon in among the tree branches..... it's fun, not elegant, but neat.
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 09:02 pm
I love your jack o'lantern, Boomer! I can't believe that's your first attempt.

I don't have an artistic bone in my body, because my brother got all the artistic genes. He used to spend the month of October shopping for interesting pumpkins and carving them. He used innards for vomit for some gross ones. He liked to use red bell pepper sections for tongues or butt ends of yellow crookneck squash sticking out of eyeholes, etc. He once found a pumpkin with a long twisted stem and carved a very realistic fetus, with the stem for the umbilical cord.

My all time favorite was one that was an amazing replica of his red-headed 3-year-old, with the outer orange layer for hair and the rest of it carved away to make the face. I have a picture of it here somewhere sitting on my nephew's lap.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Oct, 2005 01:57 pm
Wow! Would love to see that.

Just carved the first one. The kid drew her design on with washable marker, I carved, then washed off the marker. It leached into the edges a bit, but not bad.

Very snaggle-toothed jack-o-lantern, this one.

I've only ever used regular knives. This year, at the same little place where we got the pumpkins, I got a very thin "designer knife". (Cheap, 4 bucks.) Whoa nelly, what a difference!!! Especially for curves. It's maybe a quarter of an inch thick, and regular length, and flexible. Still had to put some elbow grease into it but was fun to use.

I saved the pumpkin seeds, too. Haven't done anything with 'em before, but found this online and it looks promising:

http://www.fabulousfoods.com/recipes/appetizers/snacks/pumpseeds.html

Question -- I have the pumpkin seeds in the collander (handy for cleaning), and we're about to go do some errands. What should I do with them between now and roasting? Just put 'em in the fridge?
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Bodo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Oct, 2005 02:50 pm
Ooh, this reminds me! I need to go get a pumpkin to make one of these and roast up some pumpkin seeds!
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Oct, 2005 04:29 pm
Hi Bodo and welcome to A2K! Thanks for joining our jack o'lantern thread. If you get a chance to post your lantern I'd love to see what you come up with.

Your bother's pumpkins sound so cool, mac.

My brother got all the artistic talent in our family too (which is really saying a lot for him since I work as a photographer and my sister shows and sells a lot of her pottery). He is very talented and has spent the last 30 years in the Army where they aren't too interested in his artistic talents. When we were kids he used to draw our comic books!

How cool soz, to let sozlet draw the pumpkin!

Mo is totally inept with drawing and writing. Frankly I'd be a bit worried if he weren't so co-ordinated in other areas.

My pumpkin guts sat around for quite a while before I got around to taking the seeds out and I didn't get the seeds roasted until this morning so I think you're fine. If I poison myself I'll leave instructions for Mr. B to drop in here and warn you off!

I'm still trying to find time to sit down and learn how to prepare the pumpkin -- that's the part I've never done before. Pumpkin bread? Pumpkin pie? Pumpkin pancakes? Pumpkin cheesecake?

I've always used canned before so we'll see what happens.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Oct, 2005 04:38 pm
Ooops missed littlek!

That is a cool idea - doing a scene instead of a face. I saw a few on the art-pumpkin sites but didn't know if I were courageous enough to give it a try. Now maybe I will be! I don't know what I'm so worried about - I have three good sized pumpkins that I grew from $1.29 pack of seeds. Heaven forbid I should squander away my pumpkins that cost me maybe a dime.

I still need to get a photo of Mo with said pumpkins before I can carve them though so that I will have a full series of harvest photos (although I did miss the sunflowers <sniff>). Mo has been so crabby today that I didn't want to further aggrevate the situation. I've been crabby too. He woke up at 1:30 this morning with some phantom rash - weird little white bumps all over his belly - and itched to bad to go back to sleep. Thanks to the miracle of Benedryl cream we got in a bit of a nap early morning.

Not a good day for photos.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Oct, 2005 02:02 pm
Pennsylvania squirrels love stale, raw pumpkin seeds.

Boys are way behind girls in developing small motor coordination. Girls color and lace and thread ribbons and cut paper dolls--and boys run and race and climb fences and walls.
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Eva
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Oct, 2005 08:17 pm
Exactly, Noddy.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 02:57 pm
Here are the three best pumpkins we grew:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v667/boomerangagain/pumpkin.jpg
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Bodo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Oct, 2005 03:45 pm
Nice, great picture!
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