I have been looking for contests for a while that I could actually go to instead of just submit a picture online for a few years now. Well, I’m pretty sure they don’t exist.
That is why I decided that I should host one myself.
A wonderful godsend of a woman, named Carolyn Brierly hosts the event for Ogden City and she was very excited when I suggested that we should have a contest.
Plans got underway. I posted a ton of flyers that look like this:
I also contacted a few awesome businesses for sponsors. Lucky Slice Pizza, Sonora Grill, Olive and Dahlia, Bistro 258, Rovali’s (I accidentally spelled their name wrong on the flyer) and Roosters all gave the prizes. Cedar Crest Farm managed the pumpkins and Interstate Barricades donated knives and signage. It was set to be quite the event. I even invited Ed and Kristen Bogue of www.pumpkin page.com to come help judge the event.
The morning started pretty quickly. I had to set up the tables and get the pumpkins and my beautiful wife joined me as we scrambled around trying to get the whole thing ready. A couple contestants showed up a little early to get things going on a good foot.
As the festival started to get going, a couple more people showed up to compete and by the end we had eleven contestants vying for first place and the competition was pretty fierce.
It was pretty sweet.
We invited the crowd to vote for their favorite and at the end we awarded the contestants. The ranks went as follows:
- Carlos Arajao – Dragon
- $50 to Olive & Dahlia
- $25 to Sonora Grill
- Bob Adams – Donkey
- $50 to Bistro 258
- Brad Eaves – Face
- $25 to Roosters
- $10 to Lucky Slice Pizza
- Carlos Arajao – Dragon
- $25 Sonora Grill
- $25 Roosters
- Josh Spencer – Monster
- $10 Lucky Slice
- Bonnie Winward – Jack Skelington
- $10 Lucky Slice
- Candice Smith – E.T.
- $10 Lucky Slice
- Racheal Spencer – Dragon
- $10 Lucky Slice
The Whole day was awesome and I’m glad we were able to have some great people come out and have fun. Thanks to www.pumpkinpage.com for joining the effort.
So I was at work and I get an email from a guy who works for a knife distributing company. This time of year I get a lot of emails from people interested in having me do some work for them, but this was a little different. He said he was with Blade HQ and that he makes youtube videos for the knives they sell and that he wanted to make a video of me. Well shucks.
In exchange for a bad-A knife that I get to choose, I get to carve a pumpkin with it while he makes a video. How could I turn such an offer down? Well, my schedule is super packed, because I work 40 hours a week, go to school full time, have a family and a million other things. Fortunately my Thursday night class canceled ahead of time and I was able to set this up for then.
From Monday to that Thursday, I was scrambling over what I should carve. We figured that we wanted something manly and since I had already carved a Chuck Norris pumpkin, that was out. Maybe Rambo? Not quite. We knew we wanted something with a knife and bursting with testosterone. Then it hit me. A dude fighting a bear with a knife. That is pure manly, awesomeness at it’s finest.
I genuinely enjoy carving in front of people. It’s very fun to hear people comment about my work. I used to carve mainly at my house and the pumpkin would just die pretty quickly and that would be the end of it. But when I work out on the street or in the public in general, it’s much more fun.
Well, Thursday arrived and we didn’t have a place to carve. I had tried contacting a few places, but there were a few issues. Fortunately, there is a pizza place in downtown Ogden that has tons of foot traffic and a great atmosphere for this kind of thing in general. Not to mention awesome sauce pizza and wing. It’s called The Lucky Slice and when I called asking for it to be the venue, they were stoked about it.
So, my wife and I show up and unload the big old pumpkin I brought and the show begins. I don’t know what it is about giant pumpkins, but people go bananas for them. My dad grew this particular pumpkin and it was a little of 200 pounds. Maybe it’s because they just don’t expect to see such a big pumpkin. It is pretty unusual, even though this one wasn’t anywhere near the biggest. The word record pumpkin was grown this year and weighed 10 times as much as this one. It was 2009 pounds.
The pumpkin is out and in place and I get my sexy new knife. I searched for hours to pick out the one I wanted. I didn’t want any moving parts. I wanted the only one side to be sharp. I wanted it to be super light and have a short blade. Those things add up to be a perfect carving knife. Well, this hit the ball out of the park. I don’t think there is a better knife on the planet for pumpkin carving. It’s a Benchmade Prestigedges paring knife. Man, oh man, it cuts through the pumpkin like butter. The knife I used before was a paring knife from Cutco, but this blows it out of the water. It’s so light and sharp, it’s perfect. Here’s a picture of me using it.
With my new knife in hand, I set out to carve this manly beast. The camera was dancing around me as I worked and people were stopping by to see the action. It was pretty awesome. As it got dark out, some lights were put up and the awesome camera man was on top of everything. He was a gentleman in all regards.
After six hours of carving, this was the result.
Blade HQ was fantastic to work with. It was a blast carving this for them. Here is a video of the process.
I love this time of year. My wife and I have made it a tradition to go to the Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers annual weigh-off down at Thanksgiving Point. This year we had an addition to the family. I am the proud daddy of a darling little daughter. She enjoyed the weigh-off too.
The growers are insane. I don’t know how they can put that much effort into growing the giants, but they do, and it’s awesome. This year was a pretty harsh growing season, but there was still a good turn out of giants. Last year the state record was set at 1600 pounds. This year the winner grew a 1454 pounder. Sure, it’s not a new record, but it’s a freaking monster. It’s hard to really imagine how big a 1400 pound pumpkin looks like without seeing it.
Also, my dad grew a nice pumpkin for me to carve later this year. I’m sure I’ll make a post out of it when it happens.
I carved the face of Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation for the event too, it’ was kinda fun.
I’m still working on this whole 3D thing. I enjoy it, I just need to practice it more.
Anyway, ’twas a fun day seeing some crazy big pumpkins.
I manage a sign shop in my normal, daily life. It’s pretty awesome making signs all day. As it turns out, one of the guys who works with me manages a Facebook page called *Very Clean* Funny Pics that posts funny pics. The thing is, it has a pretty good amount of followers, so he and I worked out a deal where I would carve a pumpkin for his page if he did some advertising for me. Pretty sweet! So here is the pumpkin that I worked on today:
This year is already shaping up to be crazy. I filled up my schedule pretty quickly and I’m still cramming random appointments in where I can. I am super excited!
I picked up my first pumpkin of the season yesterday and started carving pretty late. I finished around midnight, after I worked a full day and went to school in the evening. I’m pretty sure I’m retarded. Well, by the time I finished, I was exhausted. I didn’t take the time to really take a great picture last night.
As you can see, the lines look nice but the lighting isn’t all that great and it’s a bit blurry. So, I went to bed and worked another full day and I finally got a good picture this evening.
So, the lighting is really nice in this one, and it’s in focus, but because it sat all day, it’s a bit droopy. Can’t win them all I guess…
The picture is of a painting by Mondrian, the master of Cubism. I’ve been thinking a lot about the aspect of line in art and this was a great representation of it. This is what the original looks like.
Another aspect I was wanting to work with was trying to convey different tones of color by carving at different depths. I generally work with a three color pallet, but I tried to step it up to a five color pallet. Meaning that I have the black of the uncut pumpkin, the darkness of the skin barely cut, the medium shaving and the lighter shaving. I also had the fifth color of the all the way cut through area.
Anyway, enough about technique, I hope you like my droopy Mondrian!
So, my wife had a baby in November, and she is adorable. Thing is, babies don’t like to sleep. So, I was asked to do a couple melons for a Christmas event for Monet Medical. Luckily for me, my daughter decided to sleep last night and wake-up at a time that allowed me to really start at a good time and still feel rested.
The caterer asked me to do a cool design and do some flowers. I played around with using the “M” on them for the name of the company. I had fun working on the pattern of the big one and the other two turned out really nice too.
I hope you enjoy!
My wife had the idea for me to carve an optical illusion into a pumpkin to see if I could make it work. Well, I got super busy with work and school and other pumpkins that I couldn’t get to the illusion right away. Fortunately, the farm that I carved Growl for still had pumpkins, and I still have the desire to carve them. So I stopped by this morning in the middle of the first snow storm of the season and started loading some pumpkins into my car. I got eight in total and one of them was 130+ pounds. I’m pretty sure I have a mental problem when I pick up pumpkins like that, especially after Halloween.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the skull…….or is it a woman in a mirror?