Joey's 2012 Jack-o-Lantern Thread! [Updated: Year End!]

Post finished and unfinished work here for critique and appraisal.
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Joey
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Re: Joey's 2012 Jack-o-Lantern Thread! [Updated 10/29]

Post by Joey » 13 Nov 2012 02:30 am

I am the triple posting master! Muwahahahaha!

Nah seriously, got to update with the last pumpkins! I have not forgotten! First up, some carving from the weekend after Halloween, which is totally a reasonable time to still be carving pumpkins:

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The Haunted House from Zombie Pumpkins that I had wanted to carve on Halloween but ran out of time! It went and cracked on me when I rehydrated it to take pictures, but it still looks ok so I posted it anyway.

Then I moved on to my official group theme of the year, pumpkins inspired by my trip to Japan:
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This took forever, but I'm really happy with the results. It's a waka poem from the Kokinshu, which translates to:

There is deep sadness in autumn's every aspect.
Only consider how leaves fall and meet their end still flaunting their brilliant hues.

I was trying to capture the mono no aware type feeling of the sadness of transience. Which totally applies to pumpkin carving.

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Then I carved a maneki neko, because I came home with like 4 of the statues, they're so cute.

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And then a Noh mask, since they're creepy so I figured they'd be fitting on a pumpkin. I also got to see some live Noh while in Japan. Got kind of experimental with this one.

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And finally, a temple silhouette and sunset. Kyoto's got temples everywhere, this one in particular is based on the Toji Temple. I tried a little bit of pumpkin sculpting with this one, and I'm really liking how it turned out.

All together:
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With these four I tried to carve a little more artistically than my usual fanart pumpkins, and I'm really happy with the result. I tried entering the later picture into a still life photo contest, but as of now I've been disqualified since the contest runner believes that I missed the deadline (I didn't).

Normally that would be it for the year, but I had a few designs that I had missed out on carving that I still wanted to finish, so I extended the season into this weekend as well:

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Princess Luna, from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I actually watched most of FiM while carving this weekend, so I'm all ponied out. I'm super super happy with how this one turned out. The pics don't really do it justice, I think.

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Milotic, since I had the time and a good sized pumpkin, and someone suggested it. Unfortunately outshined by my other two this weekend, but it's still a darn good carve I think.

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And finally, Princess Zelda. I've carved a lot of really awesome pumpkins this year, but I'm actually thinking that this one may be the best. It took 9 hours, and there are 7 different layers total. It totally made the extra weekend of pumpkin carving worth it.

All together:
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Kind of an impromptu Princess theme going on, if you consider Milotic a princessy pokemon. I think I was up til like 4 last night just staring at all these guys glowing.

So that's it for this year! I do have one pumpkin left, but I'm pretty exhausted of spending every weekend carving and need a good break now. I ended up carving 19 this year, plus the 4 watermelons. Not a bad total.

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Re: Joey's 2012 Jack-o-Lantern Thread! [Updated: Year End!]

Post by Gumdrops » 13 Nov 2012 02:58 am

Princess Zelda is amazing!

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Re: Joey's 2012 Jack-o-Lantern Thread! [Updated: Year End!]

Post by Marah » 13 Nov 2012 11:26 am

These are gorgeous Joey! Absolutely stunning. I love the Japanese ones.

BTW Do you do anything to the pumpkins to keep them from getting bad really soon? I wanted to make a pumpkin lantern did year and I emptied it and poked some holes in it and then I had to leave it in my living room because my dad unexpectedly ended up in the hospital and when I came back 10 days later it was green and fluffy inside and I had to toss it... I never had the time to dry it out or anything, so I thought that might have been it.

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Re: Joey's 2012 Jack-o-Lantern Thread! [Updated: Year End!]

Post by Joey » 13 Nov 2012 07:51 pm

Aaaah thank you guys so much! I love Zelda more than Luna but the internet disagrees.

I can do some stuff to preserve them, but I usually don't bother since I'm short on room to store them. There are also various downsides to different methods. 10 days out in the open is pretty much guaranteed to rot a cut pumpkin no matter what you do.

Pumpkin rot is a fickle mistress. I carved Luna and Milotic the same day, but while Milotic is only showing a few soft spots, Luna had to be thrown out last night. Whether a pumpkin will go bad sooner than others depends on the pumpkin, and also a bit on weather I think. Pretty much all the pumpkins from the last post have rotted a lot faster than the ones before, and it's started raining a lot more since the end of October.

The absolute best way to preserve a pumpkin is to keep it in the fridge. The downside is that it takes up a lot of room, but it can keep a pumpkin from rotting pretty indefinitely. You also have to watch out for cold spots in the fridge that will freeze spots on the pumpkin, since a pumpkin is pretty useless after it's frozen and thawed.

Other ways that might help a little is first spraying with some mild disinfectant, then coating every exposed surface with petroleum jelly. This is mostly good for preserving a finished design, since it keeps it looking fresh. But even with this I don't think it would last 10 days.

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Re: Joey's 2012 Jack-o-Lantern Thread! [Updated: Year End!]

Post by AngharadTy » 13 Nov 2012 08:55 pm

The Japanese poem is really fitting! It's so sad to think that the pumpkins in the pictures that I just saw are already in the trash. Also, some of these pumpkins are technically so damn impressive... wow. I can't even imagine how to do most of that. Zelda and Luna both look amazing. I love the detail of the cloud behind Luna's mane/tail. And all the fiddly little details on both of them, geez!
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Re: Joey's 2012 Jack-o-Lantern Thread! [Updated: Year End!]

Post by TCStarwind » 22 Nov 2012 05:43 am

And five years later, I finally post on this thread...

All of your pumpkins this year were stunning! I really love the Princess Luna. I got to watch you make stabbie holes for a bit. :) And the Japanese themed ones are great. I love the simplicity of the maneki neko, I'm still boggling at the detail in the poem carving (you made words on a pumpkin. that is seriously amazing), and the temple sunset is very pretty. It looks fantastic all lit up.

Randomly, do you know a good way to cook the seeds? I tried a recipe I found on the internet this year and ended up with burnt, practically inedible seeds. :(
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