Like Thousand of American youngsters, Scott Cummins used to crave out a pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern for Halloween. But whereas others masrered just the basic eyes, nose, and mouth, Cummins has gone on to create amazingly intricate works of art from the fruit.
The junior high school teacher from Perryton, Taxas, has been carving pumpkins since he was 16. His extensive portfolio includes portraits of Leonard Nimoy, Albert Einstein, and George W. Bush; characters such as Gollum from The Lord of the Rings and Winnie-the-Pooh; lifelike animal heads; expressive faces born of his own imagination; the statue of Liberty; and a beautiful baby in the womb. Each carving takes him just a couple of hours.
Sometimes the shape of the pumpkin dictates the face; at other times he has an idea of what he wants to create and looks for a pumpkin of appropriate form and size. He begins by scraping away the inside of the pumpkin and the tough orange skin. For the actual carving, he uses a variety of implements-sharpened spoons, ice-cream scoops, knives, drill bits, and even saw blades-and is always on the lookout for new tools.
Finally, he lights many of the carved pumpkins with a 30-watt bulb, and, as the lights shines through the thinner areas of the rinds, his fantastics creations acquire an eerie, almost mystical appearance.
Halloween Pumpkin by Mark Ratliff
Halloween Pumpkin by Scott Cummins