Carving Out Your Perfect Halloween

It’s that time of the year again – when art fanatics, creative wannabes and lovers of all things black come together! We hope you’ve sharpened your carving utensils because it’s time to etch your way around the infamous orange-skinned vegetable.

But first here’s a little history on the Jack-O-Lantern. In traditional Irish folk-law, a guy named, ‘Stingy Jack’, consistently tricked the Devil, so when he eventually died, his sinful provocations prevented him from entering both Heaven and Hell. He was left to roam Earth with only coal to light the way.

Therefore, pumpkins are used as a gargoyle-like way to deter Jack’s ghost. So make sure you’ve got your stingy Jack protection all wired up, you don’t want to find out what might happen if he suddenly likes the look of that nice array of takeaway meals you splashed out on in Spar.

Now to choosing the perfect pumpkin, here are a few things to look for in your pumpkin partner: a bangin’ pumpkin will have a thick and strong stem with no squidgy patches adorning its skin.

You should look for a vibrant yet deep orange colour, indicating it is of a particularly well-matured age – perfect for carving. If you’ve splashed out on buying an all-frighter Crisis ticket off your (extortionate) friend then don’t worry, you can still join in on the engraving festivities.

Look for your victims amongst the fruit section – apples, pears even tomatoes (are they a fruit or veg? – controversial) will do nicely.  Once The One has been chosen, give it a little wash then let the carving begin!

We’ve included some patterns on the top image to give you some inspiration but just let those creative juices run wild. If it looks awful, hide behind the ‘it’s what you call art’ line.

After you’ve scooped out all the innards, have a look at some of our suggestions to make good use of this fleshy seed amalgamation and no, none of these include the bin. We’re talking about baked pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, pumpkin latte or pumpkin soup.

But also think about your dry skin being hounded by the cold weather; it’s crying out for some pumpkin sugar body scrub or pumpkin butter body lotion.

When your masterpiece is all finished think about submitting pictures of it to a pumpkin carving competition. And yes these are a thing! Look up David Domoney Carving Competition or Master Pumpkin Carver Competition if you want to give pumpkin carving glory a shot!

Natasha Phang-Lee

Featured image courtesy of Natasha Phang-Lee. No changes were made to this image. 

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