Want to learn to carve but not sure where to start? Pumpkins are a fun, low-stakes entry into the wide world of carving and thinking in 3D.
In this follow-along demo, students will learn step-by-step methods for carving pumpkins, from classic jack-o-lantern pierce carving, to more ornate intaglio, or sunken relief carving. Students will have the option to work on their own design, or carve-along with a design provided by the instructor.
The instructor will demonstrate a variety of tools, from common kitchen tools, to specialty pumpkin tools, to wood carving tools. We'll discuss how to think about transferring a 2D design onto a 3D pumpkin, how use light and depth to your advantage, and best practices for prolonging the life of the pumpkin after it's carved. Most importantly, we'll have a lot of fun.
What you'll need to follow-along with the instructor:
- A pumpkin
- Inexpensive pumpkin carving tools like this set
- these sets are typically less than $10, can be found near the pumpkins at most grocery stores, and don't take up much room in the back of a utensil drawer
- I use my set for pumpkins in the fall and melons in the summer
- Carving gouges
- if you already own a few carving gouges, great! Use those!
- if you don't own any gouges at all, but want to get some practice here, I recommend purchasing an inexpensive set of linoleum cutters, which you can find at your local art store, for $5-$15.
- if you don't have them and don't want to buy them, don't worry about it! You can always learn from watching this part of the class, and decide to buy tools later if you feel like it.
- A marker, like a sharpie
- An LED votive, or a good old fashioned votive candle or tea light
- A large box or blanket. Since we are carving during the day, you'll need either of those handy to occasionally cover your pumpkin and check on the progress of its glow!
Kitchen tools to have on hand if you got 'em (but no need to buy them if you don't):
- vegetable peeler
- barbecue skewers or other thin pointy tools
- wooden cooking spoon
- melon baller
- butter knife
- various sizes of metal spoons
- paring knife
- lemon juice
Sarah Marriage, WOO's founder, is a maker of fine furniture and other wooden objects. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Sarah studied architecture at Princeton University and fine woodworking at The College of the Redwoods (now The Krenov School). She has taught at The Krenov School, Penland School of Craft, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Sarah's work has shown at galleries and trade shows across the US, including Dwell on Design in Los Angeles, ICFF in New York, and Pritam & Eames Gallery in East Hampton, NY.
You can see more images of her work at her website sarahmarriage.com or on instagram @sarah_marriage