Friday, August 3, 2012

Carving tools for pumpkin carving

It's that time again: time to start putting some serious thought into the most important carving days of the year: the three days leading up to and including Hallowe'en.

Checked out the new Pumpkin Masters stencils at the local Michael's... Nothing that inspiring this year stencil-wise, but in the last 10 year or so, I think the better stencils can be found online.  I'll likely do a post about that in October.

However, if you want to do some serious pumpkin carving, just like carving stamps, one of the most important thing is the tools.  Pumpkin Masters put specialized carving tools on the map about 20 years or so ago, and I think they are still the best of the widely available types of tools.  But if you want some insight into what I think the best tools are to use, and what I use to do my pumpkins, keep reading.

Just like with stamp carving, whether gouge or knife, the size of the tip is important: the smaller the tip, the finer the cuts you can make and the more detail you can incorporate into the carve.  However, unlike stamp carving, the cutter you use does not need to be as sharp - it's a saw rather than a blade.

There's also the consideration of the strength of the saw: if the saw metal is too soft (or you're wrenching too hard in your sawing motion) the whole blade will bend and eventually break off of the handle.  Not good.

Three for $5 - or less if you use Michael's 40% off coupons. 

So, here is what I use almost exclusively in my carving - the Pumpkin Masters artificial pumpkin carving saws.  [Michael's doesn't carry a lot of these, and for whatever reason, they sell out - go buy some now if you want to use them at Hallowe'en, because they'll be long gone by then]  Note: I abhor artificial pumpkins.  It's disgusting and an affront to the holiday.  Please avoid.

Why I like the artificial pumpkin saws:
  • Because they are built to cut plastic (yuck) rather than pumpkin flesh, the metal blade is stronger than the regular tools which can break after serious use (we carve in the neighbourhood of ~40 pumpkins a year)
  • The blade tapers to the tip, becoming super-fine at the ends - finer than the skinniest of the regular pumpkin saws
Anyways, I wanted to post this now: I fully intend on posting some great how-tos on some detailed pumpkin carving for you talented stamp carvers out there, but if you don't get the tools you need now, then you may be a little irritated later.  If you want to see some of last year's carves, check out my old post here or here.

Happy Hallowe'en... err... trails!

No comments:

Post a Comment