2014 Pumpkin Carving Contest Winners
For yet another year, you put your imagination and skill to work shaping pumpkins into impressive creations. Here are the 29 finalists and 2014's grand prize winner
You sent us more than 450 of your impressive personal carved creations for our 7th annual contest. Entries ranged from terrifying clowns to cannibal gourds, and much more. The talent was sky-high and the pumpkin carving picking was tough. (See all 450 entries here.)
Here's one entry befitting the start of our contest winner countdown: "I usually carve a pumpkin sign for my display each year, I decided to carve This Old Haunted House this year. I carved this pumpkin using Warren Pro Pumpkin Carving tools from Zombie Pumpkins and an X-ACTO knife set."
West Jordan, UT
"Dremel and cylinder burrs with consultation from my 7-year-old amateur paleontologist."
"I wanted to do something a little nice, and something a little not-so nice. So with this design, you get both. I used clay sculpting tools and knives."
"I wanted to create a piece that encompassed the trickery of Halloween. The eye is always watching, waiting for a victim. This piece took a total of six hours. Everything is pumpkin. I only used a Dremel and knife for the carving and shape formation. I slightly elevated the glaring painted iris from the hollows of the whites. I also used the Dremel to create the veineous look of the eye. I hollowed out spots in the gruesome teeth and added brown to simulate rottenness. Treats for trickery."
"I used a set of wood-carving tools for the sculpting on the pumpkin's face, the logo etched onto the back of the computer, and for the computer's keyboard. The pumpkin's arms and legs are poseable foam, a product from Villafane Studios. Rather than candles, I used a pair of flashlights to illuminate the computer pumpkin, so as to create more of a 'digital' glow, and to enhance the sense of alienation which the orange pumpkin is experiencing this autumn, as he tries unsuccessfully to connect with other jack-o'-lanterns on social media."
"This is a 40-pound orc pumpkin, carved with ceramics tools and cheap wood chisels. The teeth are sanded deer antlers."
"My pumpkin is a caricature of Mark Twain, inspired by one of my favorite childhood movies 'The Adventures of Mark Twain' by Will Vinton. I carved my pumpkin using ribbon sculpting tools, an X-ACTO knife, copper scrubbers and a Scotch-Brite scouring pad to make the pumpkin smooth. To add volume to his hair, I borrowed from a donor pumpkin and attached the pieces with toothpicks and super glue."
James B.Fort Myers, FL
"This carving was for a friend of mine who was deployed on the USS Gravely. I use everything—Dremel, clay sculpt ribbon knives, Pumpkin Masters saws, X-ACTO Knives, kitchen knives, tools I've made—you name it. I carve several jack-o'-lanterns every year, so here goes!"
"Carved in the stem end. I used wood chisels and clay modeling tools."
"I used wood carving tools, X-ACTO knives, and a paint brush to clean up the little nooks and crannies. Oh and a dog brush where I had flung pulp, which landed on my lab. I wanted to try and do the hanging eyeball and I just worked around that. I lost a few teeth but it ended up giving it character. I usually try to carve one or two and donate them. I ended up carving four this year. I'm giving this one to a local hotel for a Halloween party."
"I used an X-ACTO knife for the carving itself. Paint for the exterior. The teeth are wood slivers. The right eye dormer and frame are made of painted wood. The left eye frame is painted cardboard. I used vellum for a curtain on the right eye and Peter's wife, barely seen in this photo, is a cardboard silhouette. The nose is a random bit of hardware I found in the garage. Painted leaves conceal the opening at the top."
"I do wood carvings using a Dremel with flex shaft attachment. So, I thought, why not a pumpkin? It's a gaming themed pumpkin, Thrall for Warchief!"
"I used six green striped cushaw squash for the base and two pumpkins for the head, teeth and tongue. There is ¾-inch pipe as the support structure, a plywood base to clamp it down and a bunch of skewers and tooth picks to hold everything together. The whole piece took a full day to carve and assemble. I used clay ribbon tools for the sculpture, knives for detail and Scotch-Brite pads for the final sanding. Throw in some chainsaw shavings to make the picture look complete! The whole piece stands 31 inches tall."
Danny Kissel, Kissel Studios
"First I started carving a skull. Then I started to add gears to make it look more like the inside of a clock. On the top is supposed to be the numbers of a clock. I have the hands of the clock coming out of the eye sockets of the skull. I used your basic clay sculpture carving tools and a few different knives to carve everything. Overall, I think it turned out quite nicely."
"I do renderings of houses and interiors for a living so I decided to do 'This Old Scary House.' I used small knives to carve openings and my husband's carving tools (with his permission) to carve the details."
Cass City, MI
"I love cats as to find a way to show the cute side still even at Halloween."
"Pumpkin carving of a girl with a butterfly. I used various size knives and drills for this project. Also used a few toothpicks to hold it in place."
"For this pumpkin I used a multitool, clay loops, various knives and greens from the garden."
"Used clay tools to carve this pumpkin."
"I used pumpkin carving tools, a Dremel, two kitchen knives, and two floor cutting knives to create the three faces on this pumpkin, which were carved both in the bright light and also in almost darkness (so I could see how they glowed). My favorite carving tool is the Dremel but the pumpkin carving tools are a close second. Under the words 'See no evil' is a ghoul void of eyes. Under the words 'Hear no evil' is a vampire with his hands over his ears. Under the words 'Speak no evil' is a mummy muffled by wraps. I titled this pumpkin 'Fear no evil!' When you spin the pumpkin you can see the three faces, but depending on your vantage point, you only see one face of evil."
"This is a pumpkin that I carved because I have always loved dragons. It began with a few hours of drawing. Then I used clay-sculpting tools to make it. It was the biggest pumpkin I ever carved. After ten hours of carving and an enormous mess, this was the result. Hope you enjoy it!"
"This is the Grim Reaper pumpkin. I carved it with sharpened clay sculpting tools and other homemade tools."
"I used a Cricut Explore to draw my design on clear stretch material. I used the Pumpkin Masters Power Poker to transfer my design to the pumpkin. I used a Williams-Sonoma pumpkin carving kit, specifically the looped scraping tool to scrape out the design."
Kennett Square, PA
"I created this kung fu-themed pumpkin for my daughters' martial arts studio. I used pumpkin knives, wood carving tools, and clay sculpting tools."
"I made this with an X-ACTO knife, a ¼-inch, and ½-inch chisel, and a little patience! Love how it turned out."
"I made this for our Halloween party, which is also celebrating the purchase of my first house that I bought by myself. I carved this pumpkin after seeing some pumpkin stencils my roommate had, though I decided they were all too small for the size of the pumpkin. So I searched online for some ideas and created and drew my own picture on my pumpkin. It took mostly one really late night of carving for five hours until 1:00 a.m.. We used mostly some pumpkin tools that have miniature saws that my roommate's mom gave us to use. It turned out even better than I expected—when we put the light in it appears everything looks like it is on fire! So good!"
"I carved a gradated leaf pattern into a Long Island Cheese variety of pumpkin. This variety is flat and lightly ribbed, similar in skin color and shape to a wheel of cheese. I used a knife and a 'V' wood gouge."
Pam Pfropper, A'peeling Fruit
Sterling Heights, MI
"I used clay tools, a sheetrock knife, a cheese crater, and a Dremel."