Intro: "Get Me Out of Here!" Pumpkin Carving
Did an interdimensional portal open up inside a pumpkin? Because that seems really inconvenient.
Step 1: Planning The... Escape?
I had one big pumpkin and one Long of Naples (if you’re curious about this gourd, see Step #4 of my "Giant Crab, With Snack" Instructable in which I sing its praises). I figured I’d exploit its somewhat arm-like bulgy-ness by making an arm out of it, so the arm-busting-out-of-a-pumpkin idea was born.
I use clay carving tools and a paring knife.
Step 2: Carving the Right Arm
I sliced off one end of the gourd (setting it aside for step 4) and whittled away the outer rind. I used my own arm as a reference (although clearly the dude in the pumpkin works out way more than I do). After the general shape was roughed out, I concentrated on details like veins and tendons: basically two irregular but parallel cuts, then whittle down and smooth the space between and you're left with a raised vein.
On the back of your hand, a couple of veins run over tendons, which go straight from the wrist to the knuckle. This effect can be achieved quickly in pumpkin if you use a clay loop: make shallow, smooth depressions between the tendons, each depression interrupted by a vein. It only takes a little work here to "sell" that realism, because your skin smooths over the detail. note: once you can picture that tendon/vein "grid," you can make a gross zombie hand by removing more "skin" and revealing more defined tendons. Veins optional.
Step 3: Carving the Pumpkin
A few days before this carving I had made a face breaking out of a pumpkin (see image) and I liked the effect, so I figured I'd reprise that here. I scribbled the outline and hacked it out with a knife, then traced and extended the "cracks" using a small corner chisel and a very sharp clay tool, making sure that the cuts were deep enough to cast a decent shadow so they look like actual fractures.
Step 4: Carving the Left Hand
I made the left hand very much like the right. This end of the gourd was the one with the seeds, so the inside was hollow and I was constrained by the outer curve. Luckily I knew the fingers were going to curl around the side of the pumpkin, so I was pretty sure that the hand I was looking for was hiding in there.
Step 5: Supporting the Arm
The right arm ended up being pretty heavy, so I ended up whittling a hole and plugging some lumber into it, then plugging the wood through a hole in the back of the pumpkin. I removed a few pointy bits from the left side of the pumpkin so the arm could sit at the right angle. So there's a piece of wood sticking out the back... don't tell anybody, okay?
Step 6: Carving the Face
I used the piece I hacked our of the pumpkin to make a face. It was a bit thin so I couldn't get the depth I usually like - another small pumpkin for the head would have helped. I stuck the face in with some bamboo skewers, and did the same with the left hand.
Step 7: Putting It All Together
I added some pumpkin guts, packing them a bit deeper in "transistion" spots like the back of the arm. I also dumped a bunch right on the poor dude's head, covering over the uncarved side of his face and presumably providing additional icky motivation for him to evacuate.
This guy really seems to be having a rough day, so if you see him out and about, maybe buy him a sandwich or something.
Second Prize in the
Pumpkin Carving Contest 2016