Picking and Carving Pumpkins
Gearing up for Halloween means its time to pick out some pumpkins! The best place to do this is at a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, that way you’re assured that the pumpkin is fresh. A farm stand is also a great place to check, as these pumpkins were picked nearby. When selecting a pumpkin make sure it is brightly colored without bruises or soft spots. Cut the pumpkin from the vine leaving plenty of stem, and carry it from the bottom to keep from damaging the stem in transit. Store the pumpkin in a cool, dry place before carving.
Now for the real fun…carving your pumpkin! Many different tools can be used: saws, knives, drills, pokers, scrapers, and exact-o-knives all serve different purposes. Be creative and don’t be afraid to try new techniques! To prepare the pumpkin, first cut out a lid angling the blade inward. This will assure that the lid won’t fall in to the pumpkin later on. Next, gut the pumpkin of its gunk and seeds, and scrape the inside clean with a scraper. Before you start cutting, its a good idea to test your design, by using a pattern. This can be done by either drawing out an idea directly on the pumpkin, or drawing out an idea on paper, and transferring it to the face of the pumpkin. By doing this, you can change your design to fit your pumpkin before you start cutting. Pay attention to the negative space of your design, as this is what will be cut and glowing. Finally, when sawing, go slow and steady. Too much force can damage the pumpkin, and can seriously injure the carver. These tools are sharp for a reason, so please be careful. Most of all, its important to have fun and use your imagination. Happy Halloween from all of us at Designscapes Colorado!
Here is a link to the Denver Botanic Gardens Pumpkin Festival website: