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What is Sculpting?

You have probably noticed that my patterns fall in two categories.

  • First is the straight "black and white" pattern. These are the ones that are usually easiest to carve where all the features of the design can be carved strait thru.

  • The second category are the two tone patterns that require some sculpting, i.e. where the skin is removed, but not cut all the way thru. For the sake of consistency with terms, I will call these "sculpted" patterns (also called "shaded") and the technique I will call "sculpting". Depending on the tool used and the tequniqe, the method of sculpting can include shaving, skinning, raking, trimming, scraping, peeling, etc.

When creating patterns, my goal is to keep them as simple as possible and to make them the strait cut thru black and white type. However, sometimes, in order to better capture the likeness of a design, I will end up creating sculpted patterns.

In my "Valentine Melons" book I teach the sculpting technique for the entire pattern because with Watermelons, the contrasting green shell with the light flesh beneath the skin of the melon allows you to present it with or without a light and still have a great display.

However, if you choose to light it you can get some great "two tone" shaded effects even with the straight black and white patterns.

Take my new Leprechaun pattern for example:
Here is how he would look
cut all the way thru.
But, by sculpting parts of the pattern, and cutting thru other parts, you can add darker tones to the hat and clover for a more dramatic effect.

Cool Huh?

Here's an example with a real pumpkin.
Pumpkin Carving of Shan Yu

Notice how I deviated from the pattern.

See also my pumpkin of Hades and it's pattern.

The fairy from my book, "Valentine Melons", would look great using this technique as well.

The whole point of this tip is to get creative with the patterns. Experiment. Don't be afraid to deviate from the pattern layout to get more dramatic effects.

Happy Carving!
Jay Ball