So You Think You Can Carve Like the Pumpkin Gutter? [PICS+]
This time of year, it's all about the pumpkin carving in most homes. It's like a rite of passage for kids... Why not take a tip or two from the infamous Pumpkin Gutter.
Scott Cummins, or as most of the world knows him, Pumkin Gutter, is the most prolific pumpkin carver you'll likely ever hear of. His work is precise, inspired, and completely awesome.
He takes the duties of carving pumpkins throughout the year for one simple reason. He really enjoys it. It's one of his passions in life. Like the most precious art in the world, it's not something Scott does... it's something he is.
I've met Scott a couple of times in my life. Hailing from Hollis, most people know each other. I remember Scott most notably as the caricature artist from the yearly festival the town of Hollis puts on each year. My cousins and I would all line up in out youth to be drawn. I actually wasn't aware that Scott carved pumpkins until much later.
A few years ago, I went to the river in Harmon County with a cousin and his friend Scott Cummins. We all rode four wheelers, shot AK-47's, and then had a chance to sit down and trade stories. Not only is the Pumpkin Gutter a superb artist, he's a great story teller. Hilarious and witty, but his demeanor hits you with a big slice of nice and kind. He's the rare type of person you can only meet in a small town.
After he mentioned carving pumpkins, out came the pictures. (this is well before the smartphone put everything at our fingertips) As the night rolled on, my cousin and I got an invitation to come back the next day and watch some carving, and I had a million questions.
The next day came, we showed up, and everyone gathered on the back patio. A pumpkin and couple dozen carving tools were already waiting on the table. Scott began cutting into the rind as he'd done a million times before, and magic started to happen.
I started to hit Scott with a ton of questions about tools, conditions, what to look for in a pumpkin, how to preserve, etc... and he was quick to patiently answer every one of them.
Apparently, anything that you can use to carve that gives you the desired outcome is a proper pumpkin carving tool. Spoken like a true artist. There were clay tools, picks, knives, spoons, and even wire that he would skillfully use to reach the outcome he wanted.
The pumpkin condition was something he spoke the most on. In terms of 'what makes a great carving pumpkin,' it was said that weight is the most important aspect. With a heavier weight comes a thicker rind. That gives you more surface to carve into. He covers this more, in much greater detail on his official website.
As far as preserving goes, even as the years have ticked past, and technology has grown... There is still no solid way to preserve a pumpkin. They start decomposing the moment you cut into one. Believe me, if any person has done that homework, it's Scott Cummins. He advises the best preservative for your work is a well lit picture. I would take that advice.
As the millionth question was answered, Scott finished up his pumpkin portrait in what seemed like a flash of minutes. It was perfect.
Like a true gentleman, Scott saw us out and let us walk away with one heck of a memory.
If you would like to learn how to carve a pumpkin proper, you should look at the tutorials Scott has put together at PumpkinGutter.com. He'll walk you through, in great detail, steps that you can take to create some epic carving art of your own. He'll lead you to a few of his favorite tools, and teach you how to use them.
There is also an official Pumpkin Gutter YouTube page too. Watching him carve is a thing of wonder. Enjoy