“Come and look at the size of these beauties!” said Jamie beckoning me out to the van. With a beaming smile on his face, he threw open the van doors proudly and revealed his unusual cargo from Keelham Farm. Over the years our trusty van had contained some strange objects, but what confronted my astonished eyes was certainly the most bizarre. Languishing on a pallet in the dark interior of the van were two enormous pumpkins. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, the pumpkins seemed impossibly big, they just didn’t look real. The smaller of the two weighed in at an incredible 120 pounds ,which at over 8 ½ stone is a lot of pumpkin!
Once we’d manhandled our booty into our brand spanking new studio ,based in a wonderfully characterful old Bradford mill, the real fun could begin. Removing the guts from our giants was like an alien autopsy and as for the smell! Finally the carving could commence and yes there was a certain pressure to do justice to the pumpkins that were making the ultimate sacrifice for our art. The grotesque faces quickly took shape and our Halloween monster heads started to come to life. We were very satisfied with our efforts and keen to light them from within. With eager anticipation we turned off the studio lights and then turned on the internal lamps. That’s the great thing about a carved pumpkin head, when lit from within it undergoes a truly magical transformation. We had given the pumpkins life!
Unfortunately the pumpkin season is all too brief running from early October to November, but If you want to share in some Halloween magic ,next year we will be running school, group and cooperate carving workshops catering to any skill from beginner to an artist. We will also be only too happy to take professional pumpkin art commissions.
The monster pumpkin heads are on display in the Leeds and Bradford branches of Waterstones over the Halloween period.