Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin carving 105: the chimney cut

Alright.  We've talked about the history of pumpkin carving, we've looked at some stencil sources, we've talked pumpkin picking, it's time to actually carve a pumpkin!

So the first step is cutting the top off, and people have some bad habits here.  So this is just a quick what not to do post.

The problem is that folks usually make a small round lid with the stem in the middle, and cut into the pumpkin perpendicular to the ground.

Don't do this.

Instead, first think about which side the face of the pumpkin is going to be.  On that side, keep the cut as close to the stem as possible.  However, everywhere else, you want to make the lid as big as possible, so cut way down at the back.  The bigger the lid and the further down at the back side, the better able you'll be able to actually get in there and clear out the innards.

Also, don't cut a perfect circle.  If you do, you'll spend half the night trying to make the lid sit on it properly when you light your candles.

And wherever you cut, make sure you're making a 45 degree cut into the pumpkin relative ground - any steeper, and the lid is liable to fall right into the pumpkin...

Remember the last post: pick one that can stand on its own, then find a good face to carve into.  This one looks good... Notice how with this face, the pumpkin actually is higher than the back?

This side, not so much...

Here is the cut - the face of the pumpkin to be used is on the other side of the pumpkin.  The cutout key at the bottom will always let me know how to put the lid back on, as well as give me arm room when shaving down the face I want to carve. All the cuts are 45 degrees or more shallow to prevent the lid from falling into the pumpkin.

See how my arm fits down into it easier?
On small pumpkins (say, pie-pumpkin-size), you may want to actually cut a hole in the back, depending on that pattern you're cutting into the face.  If there's not enough air getting into the pumpkin, your candle will just go out - or not glow very bright.  The more air, the better.

Next up: cleaning out that pumpkin!

No comments:

Post a Comment