Julie’s Jukes: First-time pumpkin carver
By Julie Newell
I was informed not long ago that I have suffered a great tragedy by not ever participating in a classic Halloween tradition called pumpkin carving.
Growing up, I always went to my church with my family on Halloween for their “trunk-or-treat” like event, so I have never been trick-or-treating and I have never carved a pumpkin. I have colored a pumpkin before with markers, but never actually carved one.
So I decided to carve a pumpkin this year and write about my experience.
First I bought two pumpkins, because knowing me I would end up messing up the first one or dropping one of the pumpkins. Never hurts to have a back-up pumpkin. I did use a smaller pumpkin, because I didn’t want to deal with a huge pumpkin and the mess it would make.
Next, I pulled out my tools that I had left over from a pottery class that I took a few years ago. I also pulled out a couple of knives, paper towels to lay on the table, and a trash bag to dump the pumpkin guts into.
I then turned on a classic Disney Halloween movie, The Haunted Mansion, to get me in the mood.
I had looked up a few designs that I wanted to try to carve and decided on doing a classic pumpkin face, nothing too complicated. Then I began to carve.
I did not realize that the majority of my time would be spent hollowing out the pumpkin instead of actually carving a design.
Once I removed the innards of the pumpkin I took a permanent marker and drew on the design that I wanted. I colored in the parts that I needed to cut out.
I then took a straight, long pottery tool and poked small holes following the outline of my design so it would make it easier to cut out.
After that, I took my x-acto knife (a small hobby knife) and started carving out my design.
The end result wasn’t perfect and my hand cramped several times during the process, but I was happy with how my pumpkin turned out.
I now understand why people enjoy carving pumpkins. It is a long and tiring process, but it is very fun and I might even be inclined to do it again next year.