My Pumpkin Gallery By Year

I have created this virtual gallery as a way to show my work as an exhibition. You can still review my work (and progress) year by year at the bottom of the menu. In here I will tell you a little about the image, my thoughts and any other bit of trivia that strikes my fancy.

Have fun and return often!

2005

Pumpkin Jack

I will always have a fondness for this particular pattern as it was the first that I ever designed. You might notice that I even named the website after it.

Okay, so I guess it isn't anything special, but until Pumpkin Jack came along, all I did was carve other people's patterns. Then I was inspired to create Jack in 2004.

Yes, this was the second time I carved Jack. I don't have a record of the first carving. I was proud of my first design, so I couldn't resist the chance to do so again.


Scary Guy

This was creation number two. I had hoped that lightning could strike twice in the same place. More accurately, I tried to make it strike in the same place.

The problem was that I had no inspiration. Jack was clever. Jack had style. Jack was a classic jack o'lantern sticking out his tongue, for goodness sake. Scary Guy wasn't particularly scary. He also wasn't particularly original. The follow-up needed to match or exceed the original. It didn't.


Scooby

Scooby here was the answer to the question that was Scary Guy. If you are doing something just to top yourself, odds are you will fail. I'd temporarily forgotten that I did this because I enjoyed it. So after years of carving, I finally went back to my childhood and carved Scooby.

I loved Scooby. I guess my love of Halloween and pumpkin carving was inevitable as I grew up on a funny child's horror show. I still love it, so I got a Scooby colouring page, thickened the lines, removed some sections of line so that there was nothing completely enclosed by lines and then I carved it.

It still wasn't up to the standards of the patterns I had bought, but I created them myself.


2006

Shaggy And Scooby

So, if Scooby was good in 2005, then Scooby with his best buddy would be even better, right? As a matter of fact, yes! According to my wife, this is when I really started to build up a following in the neighbourhood. People were turning up just to see what I would carve next. I would have enjoyed this, but I was doing something more important than accepting praise for my work: I was taking my daughter trick or treating.

Anyhow, my love for the great dane continued. I knew I had to carve something new, so I added Shaggy!


Beauty and the Beast

Belle was my daughter's favourite princess, and this year, it was also her Halloween costume. This year also started a new tradition for me of carving her costume.

2007

The Nativity

Christmas and Hallowe'en are my two favourite days of the year. They are a chance to step out of the everyday and indulge in that seldom indulged passtime: fun!

I'm Christian and not ashamed to admit it. We should all be proud of what we believe and celebrate it. If you are not, perhaps you should reconsider what you believe.

For me, the ultimate image of the religious aspect of the Christmas season is captured by this image of the nativity which I carved in 2007. This is not one of my patterns but was created by Jay Ball (www.pumpkinglow.com). Please pay a visit to his site. His designs, while superficially simpler than mine, engage your mind to fill in the details in a way that I envy.

I chose to carve his template using sculpting or scraping techniques to give a three dimensional effect. This particular image was also carved in a watermelon.


A Visit From Saint Nick

Of course for most people, the Christmas season is typified by Santa Claus and it was "A Visit From Saint Nick" by Clement Moore that really made him famous.

This pattern started its life as a colouring page of Santa, his sleigh and all eight of his reindeer that I found on line. I added the moon and the author in his stocking cap to complete the effect.

This is easily the most complex pattern I undertook for 2007 and the details on the house and the reindeer are incredible. This particular carving was done on a watermelon and, frankly, was never completed. It was done for a Christmas party and I was still carving it at the party (did I mention the complexity...).


The Last Supper

Another Jay Ball creation, I carved it for Thanksgiving 2007 (I couldn't wait for Halloween to get carving) at my church. I carved the clothing and hair by not cutting all the way through (scraping) and somehow produced a 3D effect and the disciples looked like they were shifting around to get a better look at Jesus.

I'm assuming the flickering candle created the movement effect and a combination of Jay's amazing template and the scraping produced the 3D. In any case, the great pity was that I did not work out how to take pictures in the dark soon enough to capture this piece better than this.

I recarved this at Easter 2010 in a white foam pumpkin but the effect wasn't the same.

Fred Flintstone and Homer Simpson

What can I say about this one? There seems to be a trend among prime time cartoon families to have a loud mouthed overweight husband/father married to an attractive slim red-headed woman from a wealthy family who dislike the husband/father. Anyhow these two had so much in common and drew so many comparisons, even among the creator of The Simpsons that they had to appear together on a pumpkin, so in 2007 I put them on one!

Haunted House

This is a pattern I have from the Pumpkin Wizard. Unfortunately I didn't properly account for the curvature of the pumpkin and lost the porch on the house. Live and learn.

Portrait

This is the jewel of the 2007 collection: my daughter. This was the first time I took a photograph, turned it into a pattern and carved it. I used a program I bought to create the pattern, then I patched it until it worked. I know it's nothing like the work I will do later, but everything has to start somewhere and, frankly, it did the job. Later Hallowe'en night, my wife was chatting with a parent when my daughter ran out to ask something. The parent's head snapped back and forth between her and the pumpkin. Nodding, the parent said, "Now I see it." It was exactly the encouragement I needed.

2008 - Cartoons

The Scooby Gang

Back in 2005, as my confidence in creating my own patterns was starting up, I carved my first Scooby Doo pumpkin. I have always liked Scooby and have fond memories of the original Scooby Doo Where Are You show, so for not only was it natural to see Scooby at Halloween, it was natural for me to carve him in a pumpkin. A lot of trick and treaters, and their parents, agreed and it was a huge hit.

In 2006 I followed up with Shaggy and Scooby together and again it was a hit.

In 2007 I moved on and everybody missed the great dane. I've learned my lesson and as an apology I carved this pattern of the entire Scooby gang in 2008. It was one of the most difficult carvings I had tackled to date.

The Hulk

This the is first pattern I created from a picture without the use of a program. I did this for my friend Gary Burton at Burdin's comics (on Main St E in Hamilton, visit while you are here) based on his new (at the time in 2008) store logo.

This is also an interesting pattern that demonstrates one of the more interesting elements of complex pumpkin patterns. In the pictures from Halloween 2008, you will see the Hulk and next to it a carved pumpkin with an odd indecipherable pattern on its face. This is the same pumpkin. Not all patterns work like this, but some do.


Batman and the Joker

I saw these carved and created patterns from them to carve. I always wanted to carve Batman and the Joker and was able to get them both out of the way on a single pumpkin. What I loved about this one was that the two patterns are very different styles. The Joker was very much like the work I did in 2005 and 2006 with the line drawings and Batman the new 3 colour technique I was learning. This makes it an interesting transitional piece.

Socks the Cat

Another Pumpkin Masters pattern, Socks the Cat was the choice of my daughter's grade 2 class for me to carve for them. This was the first of several such carvings I did for her school. This year was also the first year I told the class a story. For 2008, the story was more of a history lesson on the origins of Halloween.

2009 - Entertainment

The Hulk Again

For the first template to carve on a foam pumpkin, I chose the Hulk because it was my pattern and it was simple. To be honest, the idea of carving on an artificial pumpkin worried me because they are quite expensive. I didn't want to spend the money on one and mess it up, so I needed a simple pattern to build my confidence and skills with. It worked because it started a landslide of carved artificial pumpkins.

The Ghostbusters

For me the Ghostbusters have become an iconic part of my Halloween celebrations. Their selection as an early pattern design and then pattern carving was an obvious choice. It was an ambitious choice for one of my first patterns. The heads didn't work well in each case although the job I did carving them was remarkable.

David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor

If you're not familiar with Doctor Who, this must seem pretty strange. The problem with any long-running series is how to handle the replacement of principle actors when they leave the show for any reason. Doctor Who came up with a simple, but elegant solution: the Doctor is an alien and is able to completely cellularly regenerate his body when he is fatally afflicted. As of 2013 there have been 11 actors to "officially" play the Doctor. My personal favourite is the fourth who was my first Doctor. My wife's favourite is the tenth. He is the Doctor that made her like the show. Kudos!

I loved the picture this was based on. Posing David Tennant in front of his TARDIS gave me an interesting challenge: the inclusion of a background object. Usually my focus in a pattern is the pictured face and I paint out anything else in the picture. I just couldn't, in good conscience, paint out the TARDIS. And I'm glad I didn't, because I think it looks great.


The Daleks

The Daleks are the Doctor's greatest nemesis, appearing as early as his second ever adventure. There were a great many challenges with this pattern. The first was that the Daleks were backlit in the photo I chose. Usually the best sort of picture is front lit with dark surroundings. With patience I was able to keep the fringed light and make the background dark. Secondly the details were high for my skills at the time. Without challenges, how can we learn? The effects of the carving turned out to be 3D.

The Hulk for Burdin's Comics

The final phase of this pattern was to turn the Hulk into a viable pumpkin-based logo. I combined the store name in the letters Gary uses (bless him that they are the letters that are carvable on pumpkin!) with his Hulk image to produce something he can stare at in his darkened store for hours. Oh and I gave him a green light for added enjoyment.

Shaggy and Scooby

In 2009 I recreated my 2006 Shaggy and Scooby carving using the techniques I had learned in the intervening 3 years and produced this carving.

Scooby Doo, Where Are You?

Also in 2009 I really challenged myself. I took a picture from the opening credits of Scooby Doo, Where Are You and converted it into a pattern. Let me tell you it wasn't easy to carve. I had to glue parts back on three times and I almost lost one of those parts. However I am very pleased by the result despite the trouble it gave me.

BTVS Logo

This is the opening credit logo for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This was actually quite a complex image to render as a pattern. The image of the moon had many varying shades many of them light in shade. "Buffy" however had to be even lighter than the moon, plus the letter B created several opportunities for parts that would fall into the pumpkin. To resolve these issues I framed the letters in black and changed many of the thinner parts of the letter B to brown instead of the yellow flame colour. The result I believe to be quite satisfying.

Buffy is a television show that my wife and I share. If you haven't ever seen it, please do yourself a favour and watch it. You can enjoy it on a superficial level or explore it symbolically and metaphorically. It is drama, action, comedy, horror and science fiction. Enjoy!


Actor: Sarah Michelle Gellar

Buffy Anne Summers

This was taken from an early promotional picture for the series. Buffy has become a favourite for me and my wife and thus became an obvious target for one of my first patterns and one of my first artificial pumpkin carvings. Years later I still show this one.

Actors: James Marsters and Juliet Landau

Spike And Drusilla

These two are every Buffy fan's favourite evil couple. James and Juliet worked so well together in the show's second season I had to picture them together.

Angel Logo

And this is the logo for Buffy spin off Angel. While this was not as complex as the Buffy the Vampire Slayer logo, I loved the effect of the angel wings behind the letters for Angel.

Actor: David Boreanaz

Angel/Angelus

When I was looking for a picture of Angel to convert, I ran across the original for this image. With half the face in shadow, it presented an interest look that I thought would look wonderful when carved. As to whether I was right, I will leave up to your judgement. The nice thing about the image, though, is that with the amount of shadow involved, it makes the eyes, usually the trouble spot with any pumpkin carving, much easier to carve. Also, as a fan of the Buffy stories, it's always been my opinion that Angelus, the souless version of Angel, made for a much more interesting character as a nemesis for Buffy than he was as Angel and, frankly, Angelus made a better big bad than practically any other foe Buffy faced.

Dayinarah Again

Based on the same picture as my first portrait conversion two years previously, I had to use my new technique for picture conversion on it and produce a better result. There are still some limitations. Sometimes I have to add in shading to get certain features surrounded by cut through to connect with the edges, after all they can't float out there on their own...

Michael Jackson RIP

This is a tribute I carved in the year of his death. My wife was (and is) a huge fan of his work. I hope he is at peace.

Our Wedding Picture

2009 was the year of my fifteenth wedding anniversary, so I carved this for my wife based on one of our wedding pictures.

Logo for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Club

I've never been a fan of professional sports. I'm still not for the most part. However, a number of years ago we were invited to a Grey Cup party at my sister-in-law's house. Social obligation. How could I say no. Well I watched it and loved it. How could I now have noticed before. I've tried other sports including NFL football and it seems it's only CFL football and some Olympic sports. Anyhow, I'm now a CFL fan, but especially for my local team, the Tiger-cats. As soon as I started creating my own patterns, this was one of the first I absolutely felt compelled to create right away.

The Nativity (Christmas 2009)

Here is a recarving of this pattern I did for Christmas 2009 because I wanted a permanent copy. This time I used a Michaels white foam pumpkin and lit it using two regular artificial tea lights and one red tea light I found at Dollarama in their Christmas seasonal aisle. I'm not as happy with the results as I was with the original carving. I'm beginning to think we need foam watermelons for carving.

A Visit From Saint Nick (2009)

Okay, I had to do this one again too. To this day, this and the Nativity remain both mine and my wife's all time favourite pumpkin images...and they're for Christmas.

This one got my last orange foam pumpkin for 2009. However I found it to be one of those pumpkins that shows beautifully but takes a lousy picture. I've tried repeatedly to get a better shot, but it is stubborn.


2010 - Portraits

LURCH

Ted Cassidy's Lurch is easily the most remembered character from the Addam's Family despite the fact that he hardly spoke. For this reason I picked him to carve over other members of this creepy family.

The Frankenstein Monster

And here is Boris Karloff as the monster. Here, so clearly, is the inspiration for Lurch. There are some very delicate pieces in this carving. Some later carvings might have more delicate pieces than this, but this carving is one of the first especially complex patterns.

The Hulk in Green

Alright, this is the foam pumpkin from 2009 with an artificial green tealight in it from Christmas. I saw the tealights in the store and immediately thought of the Hulk instead of all the merry Christmas thoughts I should have been. These lights, new for Christmas 2009, add a new potential element to carving: colour! Plus having the Hulk present in my pictures is becoming a tradition.

Kill Shakespeare

Issue Number 1

I had the good fortune to meet the creators (writers and artists) of the 2010 comic book "Kill Shakespeare" during a visit to the Toronto Fan Expo convention in August of 2010. I happened to have pictures of some of my recently carvings on my camera and shared them with the guys. Well one thing led to another and the end result was a reproduction of the cover of the first issue of their comic book on a pumpkin. The pumpkin now resides with Conor McCreery, one of the writers, and went to a Hallowe'en convention with him much to the delight of the attendees.

This carving presented many challenges for me, not the least of which was the recreation of a feather. The first challenge was the reproduction of the cover as a pattern, maintaining the integrity of the picture while creating something carvable. I showed the resulting mockup to Conor, then dealt with the second challenge: actually carving the pattern. One day I will bite off more than I can chew. Fortunately this wasn't that time.

I demonstrate the carving of this pattern on my Complex Patterns page.


The Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa carving is my answer to the question, "Do you really think that what you do is art?" What do you think?

The Gentlemen

The Gentlemen are the villains from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Hush." The Gentlemen come to a town and steal the voices of all the citizens so they cannot scream when they come to take seven hearts. The episode was a challenge to creator Joss Whedon who read that Buffy was a good television show because of its dialogue, so he wrote an episode which, for half the time, there was no dialogue.

I came to the realization one day that despite Hallowe'en being my holiday, I didn't have any permanent carvings that were truly scary. The Gentlemen were among the most truly disturbing foes Joss Whedon created for Buffy and "Hush" one of the most genuinely frightening episodes of the series.


Jesus

I have the painting this carving is based on. In fact it was a painting in my parent's home and one I grew up with and have come to love. I wasn't sure how well this would turn out, but I was pleased with the results.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper is Canada's current serving Prime Minister. As I understand it, his family are pumpkin carvers. I hope that one day I will be able to carve all of Canada's prime ministers.

Barnabas Collins

Barnabas was played by Jonathan Frid, a Hamiltonian like me. I felt this alone was worthy of a tribute, however there's more than that behind it. When I was young there was a line of Gold Key Comics dedicated to the television show Dark Shadows which featured Barnabas as a character which I remember reading. It was years later that I got to see the show which was being aired in syndication.

For this carving I wanted something that demonstrated the threat of the character along with its familiar elements, specifically, the vampire teeth, the ring and the silver-headed walking cane.


Dark Shadows Title Card

Ah the simple title. Single colour and lots of enclosed letters. Cut throughs were impractical for this one. I thought about creating a hybrid like for the Doctor Who title below, but I don't think it would have worked as well.

The Cybermen

One of the Doctor's oldest and deadliest enemies, the Cybermen are much like the Borg before the Borg were the Borg. In choosing a picture, I wanted something that looked threatening, so when I saw this picture with the Cyberman reaching out, I knew I had found what I was looking for. The 3D effect was wonderful and the picture looks realistic. Definitely a personal favourite.

Title Card Introduced For the 11th Doctor

At the time of carving, this was the latest title card for the BBC television program Doctor Who. Most people assume Doctor Who to be a relatively new show as it was revived in 2005, but its origin traces back to 1963, making it 50 years old in 2013. I first caught onto it in the early 70's at about the time the fourth actor (Tom Baker) to play the title role of The Doctor began his long run on the series. The show was pulled by the BBC in 1989, almost revived by Fox Networks in the United States in 1996 (the pilot movie didn't have the ratings they'd hoped for) and finally returned to television in 2005.

As for the carving of this title logo, when I was designing it, I thought that at first look, the logo was uniformly bright. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that there were bands of lighter and darker colours. It wasn't difficult to manage the bands to make sure that nothing "floated". I loved how the designer of the logo used the letters D and W to form the sides of the Doctor's TARDIS.


Dean Stockwell

Dean Stockwell played Admiral Al Calavici in a show called Quantum Leap. He was forever holding a cigar, so the image I carved had to have the cigar in it. Dean Stockwell's was the first celebrity autograph I got on a picture of a pumpkin carving.

Scary Vampire Face

Okay, so this isn't exactly the most inspiring carving. However, this was the first carving I did on a 4 inch artificial pumpkin. The others were done on 13" foam 'kins. This was a simple pattern and so I thought it would be a good one to experiment in smaller carving with. I've tried other patterns in the smaller pumpkin, but this was the first.

Annette Hamm

Annette is an employee of CHCH Television in Hamilton, Ontario. This and Bob Cowan were my first and only attempt to carve local celebrities.

Bob Cowan

Bob is an employee of CHCH Television in Hamilton, Ontario. This and Annette Hamm were my first and only attempt to carve local celebrities.

Pumpkin House

This year I decided to create a Halloween village using carved pumpkins in elements of the design. I never finished it, but this is an example of one of the homes I created.

Micro Jack

I managed to get the vampire face on a 4 inch pumpkin. That wasn't enough for me. I bought a small back of artificial decorator gourds which included some 1 inch pumpkins. I took my Pumpkin Jack pattern and carved it without a transferred pattern onto the micro pumpkin. The pumpkin isn't hollow so the lighting is from refected light.

2011 - Science and Magic

This was the first year with a genuine theme. The previous three years were given themes retroactively, but this year was planned. It started out as a collection of magician patterns but I also wanted to carve some characters from The Big Bang Theory and so the theme evolved.

MAGIC

Harry Dresden from The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

This is one of my current literary obsessions. This long series is a well-written and thoroughly enjoyable read. Harry, the principle character, is a wizard so he was a definite selection for the Magic team.

The Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz

A talking anthropomorphic lion from a magical realm. Yeah, that's magical. I also included it to show off little. It was a very detailed pattern and very popular besides.

Juliana Chen

Juliana is that most rare of creatures: a female magician. She has a amazing showmanship and is incredibly talented. She is based in British Columbia and is hence considered a Canadian magician although she was born in China. She also happens to be one of my wife's favourite magicians.

Greg Frewin

Greg is a Canadian magic champion from Hamilton, Ontario, headquartered in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Jeff McBride

Jeff is an American magician known for his use of masks and Kabuki in his shows. My wife has taken training through his school of magic.

Doug Henning

Doug was a popular magician from Hamilton, Ontario who started the modern era of magic. He dressed in non-traditional costuming and always seemed in awe of the effects he created.

Willow Rosenberg

Buffy was one of my first choices for a source for patterns. I've been doing the cast members one or two at a time for a couple of years at this point. With a theme of Science and Magic, it seemed like the best excuse I could ever be handed to carve Willow. Odd as it may seem, I've had trouble finding a good picture that would also convert to a carving pattern well. This is the best result I got and I was pleased with the results.

SCIENCE

The Big Bang Theory Logo

When I thought about science, I thought about the guys on The Big Bang Theory. While hightlighting some stereotypes, the show has actually done a lot to normalize geek culture.

When I do patterns for a show, I usually include a pattern for the show's logo. This one gave me a little trouble with the swirling electrons, but I think I managed to convey the effect.


Dr. Sheldon Cooper

Without question, Sheldon has become the principle character of the Big Bang Theory and Sheldon was the first pattern I created for it. I've even created an animation of it's creation.

Dr. Leonard Hofstadter

Leonard was a tricky pattern. The picture I converted turned out darker in the face than I would have liked. It was a 3 colour pattern and most of the face ended up in the brown so as not to destabilize the pattern and not lose facial features. With the 4 colour technique I could have used a lighter brown for much of the face and the results might have been better. However, the results are definitely recognizable and Leonard's floral pattern shirt came out beautifully!

Penny

Okay, I know Penny is not a scientist. How could I do Big Bang Patterns without Penny?

Ood Sigma

Doctor Who's race of telepathic aliens, called the Ood, are utterly creepy and look like something out of a magical horror piece. However, there is no magic in Doctor Who. None at all. And that's why Ood Sigma is here. He looks like a magical creature, but he's not!

Plus the resulting carving looks great!


Albert Einstein

There are all manner of wonderful and amazing things I could say about Dr. Einstein, but we're here to talk about pumpkins. A pumpkin pattern for Dr. Einstein poses some interesting complications. First of all, most pictures of him come from later in life and feature a great many wrinkles. These add necessary character to his features, but also complexity. Furthermore, he had a prominent moustache. Facial hair, for that matter any hair, is challenging to show in a pumpkin carving. Too detailed and carving it becomes an issue. Not detailed enough and it won't look like hair. I had to find the balance. Also, Albert's eyes are one of his more noteworthy features, and the carving needed to capture that.

Stephen Hawking

Like Dr. Einstein, Dr. Hawking has very intelligent eyes. In fact as his body is increasingly afflicted, the eyes become his most prominent feature. At the time of the picture I converted, Dr. Hawking's face was becoming affected by ALS. Also, his image presents an additional complication I have to sometimes deal with for faces: glasses. Glasses frequently present distortions due to refraction and reflection of light from the lens. It must look realistic enough to pass.

MISCELLANEOUS

Finally the catch-all. Every year I may have a theme, but there are also some patterns I carve for different reasons. Sometimes I carve a celebrity I plan to meet at a comic convention; sometimes I carve something for a different season; and sometimes I carve something because I want to even though it has nothing to do with the theme. Pretty wacky, I know!

Santa Claus

For years Coca Cola has done portraits of Santa and this is one of the classics. I love carving Christmas patterns because it seems to mess with people's heads. They seem to think that pumpkin carving is something tied exclusively to Halloween. I am not so limited! In fact I've toyed with the idea dressing up as Santa Claus for Halloween, displaying Christmas-themed carvings and playing Christmas carols for the trick or treaters. Like I said, mess with their heads.

Vincent Price

This year we got the chance to meet Victoria Price at a comic convention. My wife is a huge Vincent Price fan so this was an opportunity we couldn't miss. She was wonderful and loved my tribute carving of her father. This picture was actually of a young Vincent.

Tom Felton

My daughter and her friend are huge Harry Potter fans, so when Tom Felton (Draco Malroy) was arranged to appear at a comic con, we knew we were going. It was super busy and poor Tom was basically a signing machine. He had a HUGE line to get through and limited time to do it in. I'm proud to say that when a picture of my carving was dropped in front of him, his progress suddenly stopped and we got a chance to chat for a few seconds. I love that!

Jude Lizowski

Jude is a cartoon character from the Teletoon cartoon sitcom 6teen, voiced by Christian Potenza. Christian is a regular at the comic con I've referenced in the above entries and a heck of nice guy (we've actually met him on several visits). Jude is most famous single role. The problem with doing cartoon characters is that there just isn't the kind of shading you get in a real face. Jude is blond, so I had the choice of making his hair a carve through or his face. As cartoons usually have features like eyes and mouths unconnected in the middle of their faces, this was an easy choice. The result was a "Dark Jude," but it worked. Today with a palette of four colours instead of three, I would just make the face the lighter brown colour.

Kevin Sorbo

Our daughter's name came from the Hercules movies starring Kevin Sorbo, so when we had the chance to meet him, we jumped at it...twice. He is really friendly and love to meet his fans. The picture was actually from his days modelling before Hercules. The second time we met him, he remembered us because of the carving as well as my daughter's name.

2012 Romances

This is the first year I began to re-use patterns in a theme. In a way it's nice to know you have carvings that can be used more than once.

Romance was my wife's idea. I refocused it slightly to be romance in genre pieces which greatly reduced the number of carvings I had to do. Yay me!

Featured romances included Buffy and Angel and Spike and Drucilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Doctor (10 and 11) and River Song from Doctor Who, Leonard and Penny from Big Bang Theory, Jack and Rose from Titanic and my wife and I. Really!

Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor

As of this writing, not only is Matt Smith the current Doctor, be he has announced that he will be stepping down from the part as of Christmas 2013. Speculation is rife concerning who will be cast as the twelfth Doctor. There is huge interest in the Doctor not being a white male. Those who run the show state that neither race, nor sex are a consideration in their casting choices. In the end, they will pick the person they feel is right.

After the pattern I created for David Tennant, my mind immediately turned to how I would top the work I did for that pattern. Eventually, I decided not to try to outdo myself and went with a "less is more" approach. I felt that with Matt's face being in shadow, it reflects the increasingly mysterious nature of the Doctor as has grown during his run on the show.


Alex Kingston as River Song

A romance for all time, literally. When doing romance, Doctor Who would not once have been the first show I would have thought of, before the modern age that is. However, Stephen Moffat came up with a brilliant concept that worked within the Doctor Who context, so I knew the Doctor and River had to feature in this theme.

River's pattern is not a complicated one. The usual complication is with the eyes, which are commonly the first things I carve. If the eyes don't work, the pattern might still work, but not well. Well done eyes can make the carving photo-real and astonish viewers.


Jack and Rose from Titanic

I took this one from the movie poster. I'm not incredibly happy with the results. There's not a lot of detail on the faces so the overall impression is rather bland.

Miscellaneous

Halloween promotional for Waxy's Deli

The words you see were the restaurant logo at the time. I added the sandwich because I like to show off. I was surprised that it really looked like a sandwich when carved. Yummy!

So, great romance with a sandwich???

Sure, why not! But it must be a really good sandwich!


Canadian Blood Services Logo

I'm a regular blood donor. If you save a life for every 5 donations, then I've saved over 25 people. This is something I'm really proud of. I'm so proud that I carved this on a smaller pumpkin and donated it. It wasn't complicated.

John Carpenter

I was thrilled to meet the creator of so many iconic thrillers and horror films. There were not a great many good pictures of him, however. This one kept coming up and it wore me down.

Stan Lee

If you've been reading all my comments so far, then you'll note the features of this picture that complicated it: facial hair and glasses. And they're not just glasses, but sun glasses. I love a challenge.

The moustache was simple: the hair was white. The sunglasses simply blocked out more features than regular glasses would and turned out to be easier...and looked great.

I will note that Stan Lee is a busy man at a comic convention. He must have an incredibly strong hand because he never stops signing. Well he didn't until a picture of his pumpkin portrait dropped in front of him. We ended up having a 30 or 40 second chat. Nice guy! I was thrilled. I'm such a geek!

Lincoln Alexander

Linc, as he liked to be known, was a police chief, lawyer and politician of some note in the Hamilton area. He died in 2012 and received a state funeral, he was that important to the city and the province. I gave the pumpkin to his law firm with the intent that they give it to his family.

Again, the challenges on this patter are facial hair and glasses.


Spooky Tree

This is my first Pumpkin Masters pattern in many, many years. It was also my first fresh carving in a few years. It was supposed to cast a shadow on the wall behind the pumpkin, but it didn't seem to work well. I loved the tree though.

2013 The Year of the Doctor

2013 was the 50th anniversary for Doctor Who. This is an achievement few franchises can lay claim to. Most eventually fade out and die. Doctor Who almost did, but the fans kept it alive. Now it's the biggest science fiction property in the world.

This was a challenging year as I didn't have a lot pre-carved. It kept me busy!

The TARDIS

TARDIS: Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. Members of the Doctor's now extinct race refer to their vehicles as time capsules. It was the Doctor's granddaughter Susan who first coined the name TARDIS for the Doctor's capsule, although other Time Lord's have been heard referring to capsules using the same name. Perhaps it caught on.

The TARDIS possesses huge mass either containing a star on the brink of collapsing into a black hole or is linked to a large black hole (the Eye of Rassilon) trapped by the Time Lords, the show has conflicting information in this regard. The majority of the mass is contained in its own dimension with only a small piece extending into our dimension. This is one of the central principles of the show: it's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. An additional point is that each capsule is equipped with what is referred to as a chameleon circuit to allow it to change its shape and blend into its surroundings. This circuit on the TARDIS broke early on trapping it in the form of a blue London police box. At one point the Doctor fixed the circuit. It is not clear whether the circuit broke again or whether the Doctor has just grown fond of this appearance.

The TARDIS was not a difficult pattern to carve. The most complex things about it are the light on top and the letters. My wife questioned why I should want to carve this. It's just a box and it appears in the 10th Doctor's pattern. The answer: how could I not carve it. It's the TARDIS!


William Hartnell as The First Doctor

This is where it all began back in 1963. William Hartnell was a mysterious old man known only as "The Doctor". The Doctor was a traveller in space and time who took those who travelled with him (commonly referred to as companions) to all manner of exotic destinations where they meet all manner of exotic enemies. Over time Doctor Who became known for its monsters, and many people remember watching it from behind their couch as children.

This carving had the same problem that many photographic carvings do: marginally attached floating parts. Like many, the eyes are a problem, but not as much of a problem as the long piece that separates Hartnell's face from his hair. It is very thin, very long and tenuously attached in a couple of places. Pieces like this are difficult not only in terms of maintenance, but they are terribly difficult to carve without cutting off.


Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor

This is the favourite Doctor for many of the other Doctors. William Hartnell created the character, but it was Patrick Troughton who sold the idea that, for all the differences, he was the same man. Because he succeeded, the show survived and it was easier for future actors to step into the same part.

Most of the pictures I could find were black and white and not of good quality. This made the conversion hard. I had to adjust the pattern to give him a nose because the details washed out.

Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor

The first Doctor in colour and the next in an on-going challenge to make the re-cast believable. Jon Pertwee was amazingly popular in this part.

This pattern has its hair as its most complex feature. With some patterns the hair is simple and all I need to do is provide an outline and a couple of minor features to make it work. Jon's hair was thick and curly and absolutely essential to the definition of his face.

Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor

This was my first Doctor. In fact his first episode was also my first episode. It was meant to be!

This was a pattern with a lot of floating parts to be attached. These kinds of patterns are difficult to carve because there are so many tiny and marginally attached pieces. It's not something you can rush. Also the little bit of the scarf had to appear.


Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor

I have great respect for Peter. Jon and Tom before him make up more than half the length of the series. Tom was so popular, many people STILL see him as THE Doctor. The fear was that when he moved on, the show would fold. Peter managed to keep it afloat...beautifully.

Peter's mouth was a huge problem. No, not that he talked a lot. I mean that it was isolated from the rest of the carving with nothing attaching it. I added attachments. The result is a little kludgy, but sort of works.

Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor

This is a confusing and difficult era for the show. The choices made for the Doctor was, at best, awkward. Colin carried it off well and for all the poor writing and executive decisions, he still made me like him and look forward to more...which never came.

I love how this one turned out! Complications include the one eye, floating off in space, and the hair, which was blonde and curly. The result was a complicated and fussy pattern that I wasn't sure I could carve. My skills had to come up to manage it. Now I do more detailed stuff.


Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor

Sly was the last of the Doctors before the BBC cancelled the show. His first year was, frankly, terrible. It was juvenile and often poorly done. The Doctor was great. Then his second year came and...wow. The Doctor can be mean! The quality of the show increased markedly. I only wish that there had been more people still watching to see it.

Compared to some others, there was nothing complicated about this one. However, I love the eyes and the line of the lips.

Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor

The eighth Doctor was the feature in an American attempt to revive the series in 1996. It is canonical and considered part of the original run of the show, lumped together as the Twentieth Century Doctors.

I wasn't super pleased with the results of this pattern. I played with it and this is sadly far better than it used to be. This is a pattern that will likely get re-done one day.


Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor

The first of the new, Twenty-First Century Doctors, Christopher really made this work. Most people thought of Doctor Who as a silly old show that nobody took seriously. It was a huge obstacle to the show's revival and in one year, Christopher knocked it out of the park.

Again the eyes sell this pattern. It has many little details, but nothing terribly difficult. I love the ear. It actually looks like an ear!


Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith

This was my favourite companion of all time. She was pretty and fierce and independent. Plus she eventually got her own spin-off. She rocks!

The picture I chose for Sarah Jane was from her original run in the show. Her face was in shadow and she was clearly afraid of something. The challenge with it was making sure there were enough details appearing to still show a face. The eyes are key again.


The Silence

A new bad guy for a new show. These guys are scary. I mean they are extremely creepy. I love them!

They have a detailed face. I used the carve thoughs as highlights. There wasn't anything incredibly difficult, but it was fussy and time-consuming work. And...it looks creepy. Mission accomplished!


TARDIS in Moonlight

This was a carving in fresh pumpkin. It is one of a series of patterns I've created for novice carvers, so it took me practically no time at all to carve. It really showed me how far my skills have come in the last few years.

Miscellaneous

Tara Strong

Tara is a voice actor. If you've watched any cartoons in the last dozen or so years, the odds are really good that you've heard her voice. She works that often. Her hair was the challenging part.

Nichelle Nichols as Uhura

What a terrific lady! I love her. I was so saddened to hear of her stroke and so happy to hear of her recovery.

I was so incredibly pleased with this pattern. Some parts I think are stand-outs: the details in her hair, the funny swirly earring, her eyes and her scoop collar. I think that she was also an incredibly beautiful woman to begin with, so creating a beautiful pattern was so much easier!


Witch in Moonlight

This is another pattern I've created for novice carvers. Try it yourself!

Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark

My wife saw the pattern and insisted that I should carve it. How can I refuse?

2014 Monsters, Hunters and Their Creators

Originally the theme was Monsters, as picked by my daughter. However, I had such a wealth of carvings involving Buffy and the Doctor as well Stan Lee and John Carpenter that I HAD to expand the theme.

Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk