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Friday, November 1, 2013

Pumpkin Masterpieces

Frightfully good carving: Pumpkins are transformed into glowing masterpieces by professional sculptors in time for Halloween

  • Ray Villafane and his team meticulously shaped the terrifying characters using spoons and scalpels
  • Each one takes on average two hours to complete with the horrifying results
  • Mr Villafane has become something of a celebrity in the U.S. appearing on television shows with his creations 

Carving a pumpkin at Halloween can be tricky. 
But these masterpieces created by professional sculptors are enough to give anyone a fright. 
Ray Villafane and his team meticulously shaped the terrifying characters using spoons and scalpels

A horror face carved out in a pumpkin by Ray Villafane and team in Bellaire, Michigan

Ray Villafane and his team meticulously shaped the terrifying characters using spoons and scalpels
Terrifying: Sculptor Ray Villafane and his team meticulously shaped the terrifying characters using spoons and scalpels
Each one takes on average two hours to complete - with the horrifying results netting Villafane, plus colleagues Andy Bergholtz and Chris Vierra, numerous TV appearances each Halloween.
This year the team has gone global travelling to Germany, Switzerland and Hong Kong. 
Mr Villafane, 44, based in Bellaire, Michigan, U.S., said: 'You need to pick the meatiest pumpkin. Not all of them will look good. The most important aspect is the weight.
'I also like a pumpkin with character. one with nobly ridges is good, so that I can utilise that in the carving procedure, like sculpting noses.
Johnny Depp's face carved from a pumpkin


These masterpieces  created by professional sculptors are enough to give anyone a fright
Two of Mr Villafane's creations including one of Johnny Depp in the film Dark Shadows. The pumpkins receive huge media attention every year 
Frightfully good: The 1984 horror comedy Gremlins was the inspiration behind this pumpkin carved for Halloween
Frightfully good: The 1984 horror comedy Gremlins was the inspiration behind this pumpkin carved for Halloween
Scary: This frightening pumpkin holding a knife would give anyone nightmares

This creation wouldn't look out of place in Disney's Monsters, Inc
A pumpkin holding a knife which would be enough to give anyone a fright  and this one which wouldn't look out of place in Disney's Mosters, Inc
'Sculpting has always been a passion of mine.'
Mr Villafane, who taught art at a school in his hometown, says he discovered his unique talents by chance.
He added: 'I was asked to do some pumpkin carvings at the school.
A horror face carved out of a pumpkin by Ray Villafane and team in Bellaire, Michigan

These Halloween horrors were  all carved out of humble pumpkins
The pumpkins are brought to life after Ray Villafane and his team are finished sculpting their features into the flesh 
Attention to detail is key when Ray Villafane carves a pumpkin

Ray Villafane and his team meticulously shaped the terrifying characters using spoons and scalpels

This year the team has gone global travelling to Germany, Switzerland and Hong Kong to create their masterpieces

Tasty: Ray Villafane has become something of a celebrity in the U.S. for making these scary creations
Tasty: Ray Villafane has become something of a celebrity in the U.S. for making these scary creations
'I thought why don't I try and carve a pumpkin like it is a piece of clay as opposed to a large vegetable.
'It came out alright but the most important result was that the kids at the school absolutely loved it.
'For days after that there would be a dozen pumpkins sitting on my desk waiting for me to carve them.'
A funny face carved out of a pumpkin by Ray Villafane and team in Bellaire, Michigan

Mr Villafane, who taught art at a school in his hometown, says he discovered his unique talents by chance
The team are especially inundated with requests around Halloween and this year will travel to Germany, Switzerland and Hong Kong to carve their masterpieces 
Characters: A pumpkin inspects a 'crime scene' with his magnifying glass in this creation by Ray Villafane
Characters: A pumpkin inspects a 'crime scene' with his magnifying glass in this creation by Ray Villafane
Ray Villafane and his team meticulously shaped the terrifying characters using spoons and scalpels

Fictional character 'Gollum', carved out of a pumpkin by Ray Villafane and team in Bellaire

A work in progress: The pumpkins like this Pippi Longstocking creation take hours to carve using spoons and scalpels
A work in progress: The pumpkins like this Pippi Longstocking creation take hours to carve using spoons and scalpels
This Halloween character looks like he has bit off more pumpkin pie than he can chew judging   by his full face

A horror face carved out of a pumpkin by Ray Villafane and team

Mr Villafane said: 'You need to pick the meatiest pumpkin. Not all of them will look good.'

An ape face carved out of a pumpkin by Ray Villafane and team

Creepy: Ray and his colleagues are exploring ways to pickle their creations in a bid to preserve them for more people to see
Creepy: Ray and his colleagues are exploring ways to pickle their creations in a bid to preserve them for more people to see
These horror masterpieces created by professional sculptors are enough to give anyone a fright

Mr Villafane said he likes a pumpkin with character - ones with nobly ridges
These horror masterpieces created by professional sculptors from pumpkins are enough to give anyone a fright 

Attention to detail: Mr Villafane, who taught art at a school in his hometown, says he discovered his unique talents by chance
Attention to detail: Mr Villafane, who taught art at a school in his hometown, says he discovered his unique talents by chance
A  clown face carved out of a pumpkin by Ray Villafane and his team for Halloween

A gorilla face carved out of a pumpkin using   spoons and scalpels
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