To carve these detailed designs, we used linoleum cutters and wood gouges to etch the surface of the pumpkins. Etching thins the pumpkin’s flesh, illuminating the design without carving all the way through the pumpkin’s walls.
In these projects, pumpkins are used as the base material to create completely new objects, ranging from elaborate creatures and haunted houses, to simpler lanterns, vases, and serving pieces for parties.
A miniature saw was used to carve the designs on these pumpkins. This tiny serrated blade is strong enough to slice through the tough outer skin and flesh of a pumpkin, yet flexible enough to carve out tight corners. For jack-o’-lanterns, haunted scenes, or any design that requires cutting all the way through the pumpkin’s flesh, follow the basic carving method.
An eccentric collector displays his black basalt Wedgwood stoneware alongside wacky, wide-eyed pumpkins modeled after cardboard jack-o'-lanterns from the early 20th century. Create an array of your own expressions by carving basic shapes into pumpkins and pinning paper features inside.
Not all pumpkins are orange, nor are they necessarily destined to become leering jack-o'-lanterns. The designs used on these pumpkins, carved freehand, mimic the lacelike openwork of 18th-century pierced creamware dishes, and turn any pumpkin (especially a pale Lumina) into an intricately patterned lamp.