By Rebecca Drew
THESE SPOOKTACULAR pumpkin carvings featuring intricate designs that took up to SIXTEEN-HOURS to perfect are sure to get you into the Halloween spirit.
Stunning pictures show how the artist has carved a terrifyingly accurate Giger inspired Alien into the seasonal fruit, while some pumpkins depict Ghost Busters and the witches from Hocus Pocus.
Other pumpkins have been emblazoned with the Hulk from the 2017 hit film, Thor: Ragnarok, Disney’s Moana and Star Wars’ Darth Vader in front of the Death Star. The Governor from zombie-series The Walking Dead, Barrack Obama and Marilyn Monroe have also been carved onto pumpkins.
The impressive carvings are the work of graphic designer and marketing coordinator, Rachael Kolby (29) from Yorktown, New York, USA, who has been carving pumpkins for six years now.
Rachael hand paints her designs onto the pumpkins before scraping, carving and gutting them which can take her anywhere between eight and 16-hours each – incredible video shows her at work.
“Inspiration can come from anywhere – movies, pop culture, classic Halloween themes, and more. Subject matter can also be related to the location or venue where these carvings will be displayed, for example, the Statue of Liberty piece was displayed on Governor’s Island, New York City,” said Rachael.
“I will also get assignments from clients and venues, and many of my past Disney projects were to promote new movies that are released around that year.
“First I’ll start with planning the design by drawing on paper. Then I’ll paint my design onto the pumpkin itself.
“Once that is done, I’ll carve out all the intricate details that I want to glow using various printmaking and sculpture techniques – carving deeper in the areas that will appear lighter and shallower in the areas that will appear darker.
“Once the pumpkin is cut open and all of the pumpkin guts are scooped out of the inside, it is lit up with a bright light inside so the final piece can be displayed in the dark.
“There are a few that are my favourite, with so many different projects throughout the years it’s hard to choose; there are some from Halloween movies, such as Alien, Evil Dead, and The Mummy, that have some great texture and gory details.
“I also love doing realistic portraits, such as Marilyn Monroe and Obama. As well as the clean, precise details used for projects like Disney and Marvel movies.”
On average, the pumpkins Rachael carves weigh seven-stone, but she explained how once they are completed, they have a short shelf-life.
“There’s always the limited shelf-life of the pumpkin. Every year I get asked question about how to make these Jack o’Lanterns last longer, and the short answer is – there isn’t much you can do,” she said.
“Once you cut into the pumpkin the clock starts ticking, and you have about a week at most. And there could always be any unexpected problems that pop up, like bad spots on the pumpkin, rotting, mould.
“I love that this is a truly unique opportunity to make some original and creative art. Halloween has always been my favourite holiday, with so many creative ways to celebrate.
“And I also love the ability to combine multiple art disciplines into each piece of work – drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture techniques.
“People are very impressed when they see these Jack o’Lanterns for the first time, and some may not believe it’s all done with pumpkins.
“I’ve even heard people ask if these were done with lasers or some kind of machine, because they thought the artwork was so precise that it couldn’t possibly be done by hand, which I think is a great compliment.”