Artists from Kington’s Holier Than Thou Tattoo carve pumpkins, talk medium
Professional pumpkin carvers may take the Halloween tradition to expert heights, but carving a jack-o’-lantern or spooky image into the holiday squash is something embraced by many Halloween lovers, not just artists. The medium, however, can be a tricky one.
Artists from the Kingston studio, Holier Than Thou Tattoo, stepped out of their comfort zone to try their creative hands at pumpkin carving. They talked about the difficulties and pit falls of pumpkin art and had a little fun at the same time.
Frankie Carey is a Larksville tattoo artist who specializes in American traditional tattooing, but still experiments with styles to find her unique expression.
Carey, and fellow artist Amanda Malia, of Kingston, let their guards down and took on a complicated pumpkin design.
“Our first idea was to do a 3-D pumpkin, because we’re artsy types, and we were going to do a cat’s face,” Carey said. “It didn’t work out the way we were hoping. It’s actually not an easy medium to work with, so we went with a more simple design with a few bats and our company initials.”
Carey said her biggest difficulty was accomplishing smooth curves, but she learned a bit about the poker, a specific tool in her carving kit.
“I ended up poking holes at the ends of difficult lines and connecting them,” Carey said.
Carey said she painted her pumpkin last year.
“I used acrylic paints, and it came out great,” Carey said. “I didn’t want to deal with the mess, and the pumpkin lasted a lot longer.”
Carey said she’d advise anyone going for a complicated design to hollow out the pumpkin first, use the poking tool for the ends of difficult lines and to watch YouTube videos or use stencils provided in a kit.
Chuck Wynn, a Dupont artist, carved a pumpkin on site. For Wynn, who works in black and grey realism when he tattoos, the pumpkin was his first serious venture with the medium.”
“I never really carved pumpkins too much,” Wynn said.
Wynn used a Sharpie marker to make a freehand sketch of a skull turned to the right of the viewer.
He then went about cutting out the top of the pumpkin and hallowing out the inside.
“It feels slimy,” Wynn said. “It’s like I’m pulling its brain out. But it makes me want to eat the pumpkin seeds.”
Wynn chose the serrated carving tool and scoop from his carving kit to remove the innards and kept with the selected knife to carve the face.
“It’s working pretty well,” Wynn said as his skull took shape. “It’s definitely different, but it’s not that bad.”
In about 90 minutes, Wynn had carved a relatively complicated design and had a distinct image complete. His only major difficulty was fatigue.
“It started to get hard on the hand after a while,” he said. “But it’s not bad for my first pumpkin.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or Twitter @TLArts