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just for a change, ..heres what keeps me busy in Oct

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:48 am
by GUS
Pumpkins, I tend to do cut through as it takes less time (spock for instance I can whip out in 30 minutes or less) ..however if doing a kin 1st time round it takes way longer to learn the structural strengths & weaknesses in a design.

The pic of my daughter with her carve (I also did sparky a few days earlier) was a great carve, ought to see what she was pulling off when she was 5, made plenty of visiting adults weep.(see below what a 5 year old ca pull off)... as ever the better the tools the better the result, the keener to do more!

My workshop has a few large ones (all mine are BIG strtaight from the field, not your p***y supermarket pumpkins.

Re: just for a change, ..heres what keeps me busy in Oct

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:46 pm
by yotmon
Hi Gus, they look very good indeed, do u have to use a stencil or something ? Nothing like them round here - just the usual jagged mouth and triangle eyes !

Re: just for a change, ..heres what keeps me busy in Oct

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:12 pm
by DanMcG
That's quite a talent Gus. I'm very impressed.

Re: just for a change, ..heres what keeps me busy in Oct

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 1:20 am
by wheels
Impressive, but where's the smoked pumpkin? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


Re: just for a change, ..heres what keeps me busy in Oct

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:46 am
by GUS
I do them commercially & for kicks, as there are only a small merry band of us in the uk who are daft enough to put out pumpkins in qty.

We have a pumpkin farm nearby so I get 1st dibs, & carve them a few.
I carve for bluechip company hq's & small local businesses alike.

But I'd prefer more people picked up the correct tool (of which there are 2) & found out how simple it really is.
For speed I do use an expensive graphite type paper called saral (popular with woodworkers & quilters over here now) which I used to have to grab when abroad or get sent over.

The tool sets they sell in typical carving packs are junk, I had kids using my proper knives under "semi" parent supervision, hacking away & no nicks or cuts ensued, ..the tip of a proper cutting tool is about 1/12 that of your blunt ended halloween packaged tool, (of which you should keep the scraper only).

I do shaded as well which is where the time disappears but none commercially as those are too expensive.
SO I stick to cut through because thats what the uk is used to.

The time is gobbled up when you do a new & unknown stencil (yes I use stencils, there are some brilliant ones out there) as when doing them commercially you cut them 5 times thicker than you would at home, so they last longer with more structural integrity under a variety of conditions, ie warm, dried out ,not re-hydrated.
SO a new stencilI will take a few hours on, wheras one i;ve used before between 30-60 minutes unless it's a whopper of a pumpkin (eg 62 lbs plus) in which case the same design will take quite a bit longer to cut through as will applying a stencil.

I try to apply stencils beforehand, but space & pumpkin shape dictate what go's on at the end of the day, so your day will be consumed resizing, & testing a stencil to fit, as well as wading through HUNDREDS of prospective carves.

The crazy thing is even for commercial you are just told to carve,no theme, just surprise us, but some so called "creative" world renowned ad agencies simply want a logo x 40 ....they get turned down, despite it being easy money, they will want you to conform to a standard pumpkin which will actually hinder a carver.

just like a lot of you foodies here, no-one appreciates the true cost / time / quality ingredients involved that make what they are so willing to stick in their mouths ..after the hard work is done :roll: :wink:
Now halloween is over I can carve for myself, providing I can move for pumpkins & keep them safe till march 2015

the thinner the blade (think fine-ish jigsaw blade) the better your results, I only use a big kitchen knife to prise lids off after i've cut with my bigger carving blade.

Wheels, you live in the rolling countryside, should be pumpkin growers around you, monster pumpkins (by comparision to supermarket size) for £3 ...plenty of good eating & something to carve .

Secret is, raid your 1st aid kit for a 3M product called "micropore" it's for lifting & re-seating dressings etc, the paper variety is superb, so you can then lift & move a stencil outline if req'd then go over its impression on the pumpkin with a gel rollerball pen prior to cutting.

Anyone of you who has ever filleted & de-boned a big old fishy-wishy-woo could pull off a decent pumpkin, you have already proved you have a bit of patience.

when gutted stick an led light in to see how thin the carveable side of the wall is & leave it in there, especially for kids (we are working on shadow projection here) as you cut each section a child will see the design coming together which they cannot visualise un-lit.

bleachy water dunk, drain, dry, display once per 24hrs! i've had a pumpkin hanging outside for 6 weeks above my head before high winds took her down!

Plenty of things you can do with pumpkin guts. (i'm slack i haven't updated the sitye for several halloweens.

Re: just for a change, ..heres what keeps me busy in Oct

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:58 am
by GUS
wheels wrote:Impressive, but where's the smoked pumpkin? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


You wan't me to show you just how badly one of my pumpkins sits on a bbq do you wheels, really!? ..I think you already know the answer to that one :lol: :lol: :wink:

for the big boys, I don't think the weber would take it.

Re: just for a change, ..heres what keeps me busy in Oct

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:38 pm
by NCPaul
This is one I saw at our farmer's market, just over 400 Kg:


What's the biggest one you've carved GUS?

Re: just for a change, ..heres what keeps me busy in Oct

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:58 am
by GUS
About half the size of that big one.

Big enough to really need 2 people to lift & put it in the car, (but done by one) boys'll try & lift anything