Palace of Mystery carving by Gene Granata of
Photo: Couresy Gene Granata/
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"The Magic Castle" by Gene Granata

Award-winning carver Gene Granata of started calling pumpkin carving a "business" to justify the excessive amount of time he was spending on his year-round hobby. This carving was inspired by The Magic Castle in Hollywood, California—a place Granata remembers fondly. "It was an exclusive magicians-only gathering place that my father-in-law performed at," he says.

This piece was completed on an artificial pumpkin with a Dremel rotary tool, X-Acto knives, and precision saws. "I also had an air compressor handy to clear away the carving dust," says Granata.

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