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Yeah, this guy

His name is Ray Villafane and his motto is “You bet it’s a real Pucking Fumpkin!”

I love this guy. He’s an exquisite modeler, and his choice of media reflects a refreshing humility (he works in pumpkins and also sand).

I know you’ve seen his stuff before; they trot him out every Hallowe’en. This year, the Last Vegas Sun ran a couple of excellent slideshows of his work (here and here).

On his website, he’s selling a set of his seven indispensable carving tools and a pair of instructional DVDs (also a couple of rad t-shirts).

I’m sorely tempted — pumpkin carving is one of those things I think I should be good at, and I am not — but international postage and duties would probably make the whole package eye-wateringly expensive.

Anyway, Happy Hallowe’en, y’all! (Yeah, I know the 31st Monday, but I wanted to leave you with some cool stuff to look at over the weekend).


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 28, 2011, 8:54 pm

There will be no message from the chickens tonight. It was a cold, wet, miserable day, so we let them come into the kitchen to nod off for a while (I cover a chair with a towel and they sit all over it). Later, I tiptoed out and put them in the chicken house.

I always put them on the perch BEAK-BEAK-BEAK-BEAK, because anything else would feel silly.

Comment from Deborah
Time: October 28, 2011, 9:08 pm

But, but … if you ordered the instruction videos and tools now, then by next year you could knock our socks off. And I bet Uncle Badger would grow all sorts of pretty and weird pumpkins for you to play with and practice on—not to mention carrots, turnips, radishes, beets, and potatoes.

I bet you could make some hilariously nasty skulls out of turnips 🙂

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 28, 2011, 9:18 pm

I’m no damn good at subtractive processes. They’re too unforgiving.

Clay modeling, yes. Wood carving, no.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 28, 2011, 9:38 pm

Ah, here we are. Back when I was screwing around with ceramics.

Comment from Deborah
Time: October 28, 2011, 10:11 pm

I understand “unforgiving.” I like to paint with watercolors.

Your little eggcup is perfect. I’d use it to serve up jelly beans instead of an egg. (I don’t think we Americans are very good with eggcups—a shame, really.)

Comment from Pupster
Time: October 29, 2011, 12:23 am

Heh. It’s funny reading your old threads Madame. Especially the ones where everybody thinks you’re a dude.

I’m glad you are paying homage to your earlier works.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: October 29, 2011, 5:16 am

For every great marble sculptor throughout history, there must be 10,000 that had a whole backyard piled high with “Aw, fuck…dammit!”

Subtracting that which does not belong has always baffled and astonished me. I have trouble with pinewood derby cars.

Comment from GregO
Time: October 29, 2011, 6:23 am

Beautiful. Thanks for the post and your egg cups are cool – you still do that sort of thing? Back before all the 3D printer technology and 3D modeling, as an engineer on one particular job I had making aircraft control grips and switch gear I remember one day being told to “clay up a model”. It was of an aircraft grip and I had never done that sort of thing before…wow was that hard for me. I finally figured out how to do it accurately, but never (even came close) to figuring out how to make it look cool. Some years later I ran into a technical sales guy who was a clever fella. He made really good home brewed beer. No – not swill – awesomely good beer. Rare. He also had a hobby of taking old pieces of wood and carving all manner of fanciful faces and images. Incredibly talented guy and absolutely unschooled. Weasel, keep up the good work!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 29, 2011, 10:30 am

Aw, thanks, GregO. I’m afraid I’ve been all-digital for years.

When we first moved to this area, I had hoped to find someone locally with a kiln and take up ceramics again. No luck yet. (I don’t know how to run my own kiln, even if we had the room for it).

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 29, 2011, 5:15 pm

Tonight’s secret message is BEAK-BUTT-BEAK-BEAK.

Pass it on.

Comment from Mono The Elderish
Time: October 29, 2011, 8:54 pm

Doesn’t say “Drink your ovaltine”
does it?

Comment from Oceania
Time: October 30, 2011, 12:17 am

I’m thinking of purchasing a 338 Lapau magnum for dealing with Hobbits …. pesky little fuckers are everywhere these days.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: October 30, 2011, 1:00 am

At first glance, I thought that was more of your photoshop magic. How excellent (or frightening) would it be to have all of the presidential candidate faces presented as pumpkin heads for Halloween?

Completely smitten with the egg cup. Perfect for a middling-size Chucky Egg to go with bread & butter soldiers.
It bring to mind these things:

Comment from Oceania
Time: October 30, 2011, 12:03 pm

And finally a good news story from the New Zealand SAS in Libya!

While the rest of the NATO/UK/US/FR Axis has been bombing the poor innocent Libyans back into the stone age, dedicated NZ government forces, in collaboration with Australia and Russian interests have been protecting the Gaddafi family and infrasture!

Well done lads! 🙂


Comment from Mono The Elderish
Time: October 30, 2011, 2:43 pm

Urg. wrong post again. Drat. Anywho, I’ve seen this guys a couple time before and he’s scary (HA! I made a funneh) good at the whole craving stuff outta pumpkins.

Comment from beasn
Time: October 30, 2011, 5:25 pm

While the rest of the NATO/UK/US/FR Axis has been bombing the poor innocent Libyans back into the stone age,

Huh? I thought they were in the stone age and their new ‘gubmint’ is going to take them back a bit farther. Sharia, it’s soooo democratic.

Comment from Oceania
Time: October 30, 2011, 8:44 pm

Are you still looking for the gold?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 30, 2011, 9:19 pm

Were you there the day Bobby caught the rabbit?

Comment from beasn
Time: October 30, 2011, 11:19 pm

So, weasel, do your chickens stay asleep when you move them around after ‘bedtime’ or do they wake but are too sleepy to care?
*thinks about all the funny pictures that could be taken with a comatose chicken*

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 31, 2011, 12:15 pm

They’re not totally asleep, but they get all dopey and out of it. They’ll squawk and react to things and give you the occasional good peck, but you can handle them easily and, yes, you could probably put them in very amusing places without much objection.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: October 31, 2011, 10:27 pm

1. Scoop up irate &/or riled-up chicken.
2. Grab chicken’s neck and forcibly stuff head beneath wing.
3. Watch amazed as enraged chicken goes to sleep.

Comment from Pupster
Time: October 31, 2011, 10:41 pm

Butt, butt, butt, butt.

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