by Matthew Thompson
I struggled to come up with a new design for this year, but finally settled on one I’d been wanting to do for a few years. Fringe is my all-time favorite TV show. For those that don’t know, it is where my usual avatar comes from. And it is that image I always wanted to try and turn into a pumpkin carving, but to do so I thought I might have to try to give the shaving method a try to capture the finer details involved. So this year I finally gave that a go.
Here is a better look at what I based the carving off of. Without going into too much detail, this is a screenshot of a drawing of Fringe‘s main character Olivia Dunham that appears in the show. She is my favorite character and this screen is from one of my favorite episodes of the series. So doing a Jack-O-Lantern based on this not only let me show my love of TV in pumpkin form like I have for games in the past, but also allowed me hit up some of my favorite things in television while I was at it.
Here is another angle of the same picture just to give you a better idea of what I was going for with this Jack-O-Lantern.
So here is the finished product with the Jack-O-Lantern lit up in the dark. This was my first attempt at using the shaving method. I picked up a wood-carving kit at the local hardware store. It took some experimenting to figure out the best way to carve in this design. As a result the jaw line and lines to the side of her head came out a bit thicker than I intended, but I don’t think it is much worse for it. In general, I didn’t follow those lines or her hair to the tee. I just kind of tried to get the idea across for those without trying to do it line for line the same as the source material. I was most worried about screwing up the small details in her face. The nose is a particularly fine line and I wasn’t even sure how to shape the mouth, but the face and hair came out extremely well I thought.
This look shows a close-up of the carving in the light. It might seem silly, but I kept the angle of her head so it appeared similar to the image I use for my avatar. I guess seeing it that way so often just made it feel right. The angle at which I stopped the lines on the right was more just me cutting them off at one of the pumpkin’s ridges.
One issue that came along with the shaving technique was trying to light this Jack-O-Lantern. I typically just use candles, but having only took a layer off along with how thick the pumpkin was meant candles weren’t bright enough to light it up sufficiently. So as you can see above, I cut a little hole on the back just outside where the top fits in so I could feed some electrical lights in.
Then I took a bunch of Christmas lights and stuffed them in there. This worked like a charm. It is very bright plus I don’t have to worry about the candles going out. And since there aren’t any giant holes in the pumpkin like usual, you can’t really tell there are lights in there outside of the cord which isn’t a big deal especially in the dark.
I’m really happy with the way this came out. It was fun to both do a TV-themed one for a change and try out shaving. In the future, I hope to do some that combine both the shaving and full cut-out methods. I did miss the more puzzle-y nature of figuring out a full cut-out design a little, but I’m sure I will continue to do some of those again as well.
As much as I wanted to do a couple this year, a late start probably means this is all for the year. I hope you guys enjoyed the look back at my past Jack-O-Lanterns as well as this new one. Thanks for checking all of these out and I hope you had a great Halloween!