Pumpkin Carving

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Pumpkin Carving

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The cast of Oliver!  had a final cast party to celebrate the close of the play.

Because it was so close to Halloween, it was a costume party.  The invitation said something about a pumpkin carving contest where folk were asked to bring pumpkins they've already carved.  I'd never carved a pumpkin before, and thought of it as an interesting adventure.

I decided that it would be a kick to make a carving that showed the Oliver logo.  We searched several places until we found a pumpkin grand enough for the logo. (designed by Frank Avelino, the play's director). Click on the small images for larger photos.

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The photos below show the carving process of this rather large pumpkin (about 40 lbs.).

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Lauren picked up a set of pumpkin carving tools from a local store, these included various saws and a scoop.  As you can see from the photo above, this pumpkin was so thick that the lid saw didn't make it all the way through the wall of the pumpkin.  I used a flexible boning knife to finish the cut so I could remove the top.

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When the lid was removed, I had Joshua scoop out all the seeds and stringy stuff from the center.  We then used the scooping tool to thin out the walls of the pumpkin to about 1 inch thick, making it much easier to carve.

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I made some prints of the logo and taped it onto the pumpkin.  Then, using a transfer tool, I poked lots of little holes in the paper, which then left an outline of the area that I wanted to cut away.

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Scott did most of the heavy lifting of the pumpkin, Joshua did most of the scooping and icky stuff.  I did most of the carving, and Lauren lent a hand with the transferring.

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I used a "tap light" to illuminate the pumpkin from the inside.  These lights are commonly seen in infomercials and are available from most hardware stores.  They are battery powered and give a nice diffuse light.  I thought this would be most convenient and safer for the party than using candles.  I put a white piece of foam-core behind the pumpkin to make it easier for me to replace the kitchen background with black for the final photo below.

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We brought the pumpkin to the cast party, and folk seemed to enjoy it.  As mentioned, this was the first time I've ever carved a pumpkin, and it was lots of fun involving the entire family.  

The Oliver! web page can be reached by clicking here.



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