Introduction: Octopus Vs. Human Skull

About: Warthog-faced buffoon.

This octopus is wrapped around a human skull. Is the cephalopod responsible for the demise of the skull's original owner, or did our tentacled friend find the skull postmortem? Good question.

Step 1: Plan, Draw

Here's what put me in a tentacle-y mood for my first pumpkin of 2015:

1. I had lots of tentacle-y fun this year making "Croctopus" out of sand:

2. I felt that the territory I entered during 2013's "Aagh! There's a squid on my head" deserved more exploration:

3. I like pumpkin skulls:

4. I wanted to do more with sideways pumpkins, like I did with 2014's evil pumpkin cat: an octopus writhing around a human skull seemed like a good idea.

As always, the first thing to do is draw on your pumpkin with a permanent marker. If you mess up you can always erase your mistakes with alcohol (pro tip: that only works on pumpkins, not life).

Step 2: Whittle

I use a paring knife and a bunch of small clay tools. I suggest you do the same.

Step 3: Finish, Run Away!

On tentacles...the trick with them is to keep in mind where they're going... it's one thing to draw them in, but then it can be tricky to keep them all straight (er... tangled). How the hell does an octopus do it? They're way smarter than me, that's for sure.

I hacked out the stem and base, did a rather shoddy job of cleaning out the guts, and flattened the bottom so the whole thing would stand upright. More ideas: ideally (and with more planning) I would like to see no "structural" bits left, just critter and skull. Another way to go is to hack off the bottom and slice it up, and use the slices to extend the tentacles... that could open up a number of other possible tentacle-centric activities, like fishing or jump rope or capturing other hapless humans, and/or their skulls.

Thanks for reading. Cheers!

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