Creative Ways to Carve Your Pumpkins

In recent years, pumpkin carving has turned into an art form. Most parents and kids enjoy carefully drawing out patterns and spooky faces on pumpkins, but college kids can also join in the fun.

Pumpkin carving has grown to include the use of power tools as well as the traditional store bought carving kits. Drills, saws, and other tools are all used to make the spooky decorations people see on front porches around America. Like many other kinds of art, the pumpkin is a versatile medium with many different options. Kids can paint on real or plastic pumpkins; you can use carvings or glue on decorations.

For younger kids, painting and glue on decorations is the easiest form of pumpkin art, but for older Halloween enthusiasts, carving with hand tools and powertools is much more fun.

Using a standard carving kit for pumpkins is easy, however, there are many other ways to carve a pumpkin. Nina Fritz, the Program Assistant for the Art department carves pumpkins by using cookie cutters. “You just take your cookie cutter design, then use the hammer to cut it. You can’t make faces very well with it, but it’s perfect for other shapes and designs.” She says.

Joseph Bochinski, a sophomore computer science major takes a creative approach to pumpkin carving. Instead of traditional ghoulish faces, he helped his nephew carve a Darth Vader pumpkin a few years ago.

In traditional pumpkin carving, the design goes all the way through the wall of the pumpkin, but there’s also a technique of carving where the artist carefully cuts out more or less of the wall to create an eerie shadowed effect. Light comes through some parts of the design more than others, and the result is a fantastic, contoured design.

While these methods are used by kids and adults a like, traditional hand held carving tools might not be for everyone. For those with a power tool fascination, drills and saws might be your preferred method.

These tools make carving quick and fun. Power drills are used for making more intricate designs such as Tinkerbell’s Pixie Dust or twinkling stars. People with kids will prefer to use easier types of pumpkin decorating such as simply painting a pumpkin or gluing buttons to it.

Artists of all ages, however, take advantage of the creativity that pumpkin carving offers. It’s an art form that is only done for a few short weeks. Students that haven’t taken advantage of this fun activity should quickly pick up some carving tools before the season is over.

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