Me

Frequently Asked Pumpkin Questions and Comments
(And I do mean FREQUENTLY)


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"Can I have that pumpkin when you are done carving it?"

I'm afraid this one is spoken for.


"What did you use to carve that with?"

Knives and clay ribbon tools.


"Can I place a link to your website on my own website?"

Most certainly.


"What are you using to light your pumpkins?"

Candles are too much trouble and not very bright. I like to use a low wattage light bulb.


"How long does it take you to carve a pumpkin?"

Generally I spend about an hour on a pumpkin. Sometimes up to 2 hours.


"How do you do that?"

Like this...


"Do the pumpkins talk to you?"

There are several possible answers to this question:

  • Huh?
  • Shhhh.....Don't interrupt the pumpkins.
  • Coincidentally, they were just talking about you.
  • Not since that awkward situation at the pumpkin reunion.

  • "Where did you learn to do that?"

    I haven't enrolled in any more Pumpkin Carving classes than you have. I learned through practice.


    "Can I do that?"

    Maybe not on your first try. Practice, practice, practice. I can say that if you have no experience with carving and sculpting, I would recommend another material other than pumpkins to start with.


    "How long have you been carving pumpkins?"

    Since before you were born, sonny.


    "Why don't you have pictures of all your pumpkins lit up?"

    I pick and choose what pics to display in order to conserve space. Not all the carvings are even hollowed out at all. Hollowing the pumpkins is easily the most unpleasant and messy step.


    "How do you hollow them out?"

    The usual way. I cut an opening in the top or bottom and scrape out the guts.


    "Boo Hoo.   I feel dizzy and my eyeballs are bleeding from having to look at that horrible horrible watermark logo that you have on your pumpkin photos.   Why do you insist on making this world such an unpleasant place?   I feel so violated and abused.   Please remove the watermarks so that I may, once again, hold my head up in front of my children and look my spouse in the eye.   My destiny, sir, is in your hands.     ~ sincerely, Joe"

    Someone wanna hold Joe's destiny for me while I fetch him a tissue?


    "I'm warning you, if you don't stop expressing yourself in a way that displeases me, I'll get out my thesaurus and impress you to death.     ~ Yours truly, Carol"

    Take it easy.  Just put down the reference book before someone gets hurt.


    "Isn't there any way to preserve the pumpkins?" or "I know a way that you have never heard of to preserve your pumpkins!"

    Not for long. There are many products made for the purpose of retarding the growth of mold and fungus and all kinds of ways to prevent them from drying out. Virtually all these ways extend the pumpkin life a mere extra day or two and most involve special treatments during non-display hours. Aditionally, the appearance is affected in a negative way by the preservation technique. It's just not worth the hassle. Here are a few methods you're welcome to try:

    • The Vaseline or Other Oily or Greasy Substance Smeared on the Exposed Inner Rind Method - Ummm, Ick?
    • Soaking or submerging the pumpkin in Some Kind of Pickling solution. - Again, messy and time consuming.
    • Lemon juice.
    • Paint It With Brush or Spray-on Paint or Varnish.
    • Spray on Lysol.
    • Spray on Listerine. - Smells good anyway.
    • Put a wet towel on it overnight. - An acceptable measure.
    • Dampen it and bag it. - Good.
    • Wet towel plus bagging it. - Better.
    • Wet it, Bag it,plus refrigerate it. - Best...if you can make room in the 'frig.
    • Double bag it and ice it down in a huge tub during non-display hours.
    • Make an expensive mold of your carving and cast it in plaster or some other material.
    • Take some good photos. - My personal favorite
    • Freeze Drying. - Ouch, my bank acount.
    • Shrink Wrap.
    • Athlete's foot spray - (Anti-Fungal)
    • Coat with Anti-freeze.
    • Spray it with WD-40.

     


    "Where are you from?"

    Earth. Enjoy your visit.


    "All I can say is, you must have a lot of patients."

    I'm sure you mean "patience". The truth is, I really don't have much. That's why you won't see me doing the intricate stencil jigsaw designs. A worthy undertaking though they may be.



    "Your pumpkins look like they have a thicker rind than the pumpkins I have carved. How thick are they and how do you find the thick ones?"

    The pumpkins I carve are just regular pumpkins. The thickness is proportionate to the overall size of the pumpkin. I use all different sizes of pumpkins. Very quickly after beginning, I get a good idea of the thickness and I just work with what I have. Sometimes you get lucky on the thickness, sometimes not. Just be ready to use what you do get.
    Weight is also important. When two pumpkins are relatively the same size but one weighs more, the extra weight is all in the rind. Take the heavy one.


    "I hate Fall. I hate Halloween. I hate October. Pumpkins are stoopid and you're stoopid for carving them. ~ Sincerely, Mitchell"

    Mitchell, You should write greeting cards for a living. Your writing has a lyrical, expressive style that's the envy of all the other goobers in the peanut patch.


    "I wish we had pumpkins and Halloween stuff in my country."

    No pumpkins, eh? Have you met my new buddy Mitchell?


    "Can I print out pictures of some of your pumpkins?"

    Certainly.


    "Can I use one as my computer wallpaper?"

    Okay.


    "Can I reproduce multiple images for my own personal or commercial use?"

    Don't do that.


    "Are those real pumpkins?"

    Yep.


    "So...Do you sell them or what?"

    No. This is for fun.


    "Where do you get the time to carve pumpkins like this?"

    I save up time all year so that i can use it during pumpkin carving season. I do this through a method I call "Time Keeping". Any time I get some extra time, I put it in a big jar that I have decorated with glitter and yarn. I also put a big sign on the side of the jar that reads "Scott's Pumpkin Time - HANDS OFF!!!!" Then I punch a few holes in the lid so the time can breath properly. One has to make sure the holes are still small enough to keep time from running out. There is all kinds of time in my jar, but it mostly consists of playtime, mealtime, bedtime, and a little meantime.


    "Where do you get your pumpkins?"

    Produce stands, Supermarket, Pumpkin patches,... Why, have you seen some good ones?


    "Scott, do you raise your own pumpkins?"

    I try to but these days it is so difficult, what with the television, video games, rock music, and the questionable friends that they run around with. I mean, what chance does a person really have when you think about it? I guess you just have to do your best and pray that your pumpkins will grow to make wise choices. Because that's what it's all about, isn't it? Wise-choices.

    New, fangled, rock music with the jive-talk and the gyrating...grumble... grumble...


    "What are you talking about?"

    I don't raise my own pumpkins.


    "How do you pick your pumpkins?"

    I am not familiar with the different varieties. I've had some people identify a few of the varieties I seem to be choosing as Gold rush, Wolf, and Howden Biggie. I also like to carve those little pie pumpkins sometimes.


    "Do you use patterns?"

    No. Patterns in this kind of carving wouldn't be much help. Most of the time I just sit down and start carving. Using photographs as a reference for particular faces is helpful.


    "Can you send me some patterns?"

    Hmmmmmm. I don't have any patterns. I don't mind if you look at my pictures and try to carve one similiar to mine. I'd prefer that you alter your carving slightly at least to make your own design rather than tedious copying. As far as patterns go, I know there are many available online for free. Try Googling it. I've seen some very sharp pumpkins using the stencil method. Of course, I prefer when people go the creative way and make their own stencils.


    "Dear Scott,
    My name is Umbato Sandahara Butaabi and I have 12 million dollars in a bank in Nigeria that is tied up in some phoney baloney fake situation in which the only possible way to free my trapped funds is to transfer them to your bank account and split the cash up with you because I, although desperate, am a super nice guy or some such nonsense.

    Would you be interested in entering a business relationship with me and helping me with this highly illegal and suspicious transaction?"

    Hang on. Let me get my account numbers.


    "How do you get your ideas for the faces you put on the pumpkins?"

    I look at the pumpkin first to decide what kind of face would fit on the pumpkin. Other times I have an idea that I want to do and look for a pumpkin of appropriate shape.


    "I have visited your website so now I am the world's foremost authority on you. Your personal life is like an open book to me because I have seen your pumpkin carvings. Only one question remains... Have you ever carved Spongebob Squarepants? ~Sincerely Sherlock Holmes"

    I don't even know how to begin to reply to that.


    "Do you gut the pumpkins before you carve them up?"

    Only in self defense.


    "Do you do special request pumpkins for people?"

    Yes. But only if your request is that I carve whatever I like, whenever I like.


    "Can I send you a picture of a person that I want carved into a pumpkin?"

    Not necessary, I will use extrasensory perception to anticipate the image you want to send. I will then imagine carving that particular face and mentally transfer the results into the cosmos to become one with the universe thus allowing you to enjoy it at your leisure.


    "Well, how can I get one of those pumpkins?"

    Chances are, you're out of luck. I'm afraid I don't do "custom" pumpkins under normal circumstances.


    "Why don't you focus on selling them and make a bunch of cash?"

    Sorry. Pumpkin carving is just a fun creative outlet for me. I do it in my free time and there's just not that much of it. If I start doing pumpkin portraits for people, I just wouldn't have time to carve the things I want.


    "Do you carve anything else?"

    Nope. I even buy my turkey pre-sliced.


    "Oooooo! Have you seen those watermelon carvings?"

    Yes.


    "Where are all these pumpkins now?"

    Are you kidding? They've decomposed into dust by now. You can make 'em last maybe a week if you work at it.


    "But...but...Isn't art supposed to be permanent?"

    No.


    "Uh...I really think that it is supposed to be permanent or it's not credible."

    Thanks. I think you're pretty incredible yourself.


    "Do you have a lot of free time on your hands or something? Must be nice."

    I see. You have no free time. That's why you're sitting at your computer, looking at pictures of produce.


    Why don't you carve a pumpkin in the shape of (insert idea here)?

    That's a good idea.


    "What do you do with the seeds?"

    I meticulously clean them one by one, dry them out in a Ronco electric food dehydrator, spray paint them silver, write "5 cents" on them with a crayon and attempt to use them in vending machines. ....Or, somtimes I just throw them away.


    "You must eat a lot of pumpkin pie. Haw Haw!"

    No.


    "Dude, Why didn't you answer my message?"

    I really love getting the emails and messages. I read every one of 'em. But I do get quite few in the fall and it takes time to get around to answering them. Sometimes, I simply answer them here on my FAQ page.


    "I am just so jealous of people like you who are born with the talent to do something without ever having to put any effort into developing a skill since you have obviously been magically blessed with abilities beyond those of regular people from the moment of birth. It deeply frustrates me that you do things effortlessly and have never had to study, practice, pay for art school, or work a day in your life while I, on the other hand, try to do something creative and must face the horror of it not automatically turning out perfect right away. Must be nice."

    You forgot to mention how I have no appreciation and take everything for granted.


    "Hey, I just thought of something! Why don't you carve in some other medium? Like...ummm...say..wood?"

    Yeah, well....see, here's the problem...that just wouldn't be pumpkin carving, would it?


    "Well then, what about those fake, carvable, pumpkins I keep hearing about?"

    I think I will carve real ones.


    "I received your pumpkins in a Powerpoint slideshow. When did you make that?"

    I didn't.


    "Why did you use Tennessee Waltz as the background music on your slideshow?"

    Again, I had nothing to do with the creation of that slideshow.


    "Oooo, What software did you use to create that slideshow?" or "How did you attach the music?" or "How did you keep the file size on that slideshow so small?"

    See, the thing is, I didn't do the slideshow.


    "I hate to tell you this, but you misspelled several words in your slideshow."

    ...sigh


    "Are you married?"

    Oh, he's married alright. -- Lucy.


    "How long have you had these cravings?"

    For some time now. I chew pumpkin gum during the off-season to ease the "cravings".


    "Why are you incorrectly referring to your pumpkins as "carvings" when they are really "sculptures"?"

    Nitpicking, eh?

    Well, TWO can play at that game....

    Sculpture - a three-dimensional work of art.

    Carving - 1. a sculpture created by carving. 2. sculpting a design by cutting into a material.

    Look it up for yourself.


    "Do you do this for a living?"

    No.


    "What do you do for a living?"

    I'm a junior high school art teacher.


    "I'm upset about something you carved in your pumpkin."

    God Bless America.


    "You should create a page of Frequently Asked Questions and answers."

    ???


    "What number am I thinking of?"

    Eleven

    "Nope. It was thirty-eight."

    Ahhhh. But three plus eight is eleven.

    Oooooooooooo.

    Thanks. I'll be here all week.