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Discussion Starter #1
Hi you guys! ;)
This thread is about pumpkin carving..I was looking for pumpkins to buy in my town and, finally, after a few weeks, I got it!...I jus bought two and, because is my first time in carving I want t ask about better, easy ways to carve, with knife and spoon?, how many days a pumpkin is still good?, I don't know, everything you can tell me about it!...Anything
Thank you!!!!
Oscar
 

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How to carve, or rather what to use, depends entirely on what design you want to make. Plan that first!

Tools I like:
Big sharp kitchen knife* for cutting the top out, cutting out large areas, and simple shapes like triangle eyes
Smaller kitchen knives, like steak knives
The biggest and sturdiest metal spoon available - you can find ones intended for this at the Halloween stores, some have serrated edges
A crosscut keyhole type saw for the really big pumpkins
And some clay tools for pumpkins where I'm carving out the surface rather than cutting a hole

The little pumpkin carving kits are really too small, imo.

You might also check out http://www.extremepumpkins.com/ for inspiration and tools.
 

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How to carve, or rather what to use, depends entirely on what design you want to make. Plan that first!

Tools I like:
Big sharp kitchen knife* for cutting the top out, cutting out large areas, and simple shapes like triangle eyes
Smaller kitchen knives, like steak knives
The biggest and sturdiest metal spoon available - you can find ones intended for this at the Halloween stores, some have serrated edges
I've come to not like the sharp kitchen knives. One too many slips. If you can swing a melon knife, or one of the pumpkin knives, they cut the pumpkins fantastic, but not your hands.



As for tricks, I've become quite partial to bifurcated pumpkins.

 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I would also caution to not use a "big sharp knife" as I am the victim of a big sharp knife accident that occurred many Halloweens past.
My hand slipped, slid down the blade and cut a tendon - one surgery later to attempt to reattach and I have limited usage of my pinky finger and a fancy scar in the palm of my hand that makes me look like I have a double life line (fun for confusing palm readers).
So I do not recommend.
 

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Jumpin' Jack Flash
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how many days a pumpkin is still good?
usually pumpkins will last awhile before you carve them. i'm not sure how long they'd take to rot, but before they're carved, they'd last at least through the halloween holiday with no problem.

they start going bad pretty quickly once they're carved. if they're left outside and you have fairly cool days and nights, they'll probably last a few days, but if you take them inside or if it's warm outside they'll start to rot within as quickly as a day or two.

at least, that's always been my experience. :)
 

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Pumpkins seem to rot out so fast here, so I've been getting them no more than 3 days before to make sure they still look good on Halloween night. Sometimes I'll even carve them Halloween day.

I bought one of those electric carvers with the little, jagged dagger and it works like a charm for detail work. I love the thing.

This one I did awhile back, but still one of my favorites.

089.jpg
 

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here was my latest attempt.
used sculpting loops and an exacto knife

since you only cut into the rind. it lasts longer than a traditional jack o lantern.
but eventually (about a week) he got discolored. almost looked like mold, but it wasnt.

i wondered it I coated it with a clear coat, if it would have lasted longer?


pumpkin2.jpg
 
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I read where some people dunk the finished Jack into a bucket with a litttle bleach in the water.
Persomally I carve the hole for mine in the bottom.It makes it easier to scoop out.I also sprinkle cinnamon on the inside.The warmth from the candle makes it smell great !!
The LED tealights are good to use if you have kids or they have battery powered pumpkin lights you can pick up !!!
 

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AKA - S.M. Barrett
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My tips-
1) Use a wipe away marker or a grease pencil for faces. Easy to clean up. No need for large amounts of stencil dots.

2) Clean the inside with a large clay loop tool. It is the fastest way to clean and the most effective tool for thinning walls.

3) Read this article -
http://www.myscienceproject.org/pumpkin.html

4) Lots of people rub cinnamon on the lid. Add to this by shoving some cloves into the lid as well.
 

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I think I posted this pic somewhere here a few weeks ago, but I didn't mention that when the while watching the carvers I noticed that some of them(including the guy in the photo) had a fairly elaborate set of small knives and tools that resembled little chisels. This was the Battersea Ontario annual PumpkinFest a few years ago.
Pumpkin Fest4.jpg
 

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I've been using the pumpkin carving tools from Pumpkin Masters for years. I don't do anything super elaborate but you can get some nice detailing done with them. The adults will notice if you use a fall scented candle. Will have to try the cinnamon this year.
 

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Mad Monster Maker
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If you do a carving with thin spots or long strips, like on these pumpkins:

Grim Reaper 3.jpg

Bats 2 (3).jpg

these spots will shrivel very quickly, possibly as soon as the next day. To extend the life of your carving, when you see them starting to shrivel, carefully put the pumpkin in a bucket of water (or bathtub), immersing it completely, for 20-30 minutes. This will plump it back to it's original shape. Just be careful not to leave it in the water for a long time; I've never done this but my guess is it won't be good for the pumpkin.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow!!!...I love all the designs!...They're really good!...I will use every trick you told me

Pumpkinhead625: Cool!...I like the detail of the eye not fully carve
UnOrthodOx: I love that pumpkin with the red light!..
CrypticCuriosity: A classic! I like too, I have two pumkins so I think one of them it'll be the classic!
Icemanfred: I can´t compete with your one!...Perfect! and so realistic!! Congrats!
Miles: The tiki torch pumkin!! hahahahaha I gotta ask, It didn't burned? It looks is gonna burn the whole yard! ;)
DulcetJones: They're masters of carving!!...
Pumpkinhead625: I like the bats one!!!...I think I'm gonna carve mine's like that!
 

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I honestly cant remember, which is sad lol but I do know that I kept it in a fire pit JUST in case. It went for a while and didn't have too many scorch marks, I'll try it again to test it lol
 

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Always start off with a nice pumpkin :p I grew this one myself. I used to get into using stencils and carving out scenes but I have stopped because I believe a pumpkin or a jack o'lantern is suppose to represent a human effigy or what is seen through the eyes of Jack as he wanders around for all eternity. So I go with a simple scary face. I open the top pointing my knife in so the top can act as a lid. You've got to break up the membranes inside for the pumpkin brain guts to come out easily. Some use a spoon. You can use anything that will scrape. I use whatever I can find. You may want to use construction paper or something to dry run your pumpkin before you carve it. You can also use a pencil or something to guide you. I usually just hack away and carve pretty quickly. Anything you do carve can be refined. Some people even use Dremels to carve. I might try that myself this year. Normally I just use a Kbar. :p
IMG_9621.jpg
 

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What will make a pumpkin ..uncarved or not..turn to mush quickly is freezing. If you have freezing temperatures...it is doomed. A little frost is ok.
 
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