Perhaps the only redeeming quality of Halloween is pumpkin carving, a sentiment I shared here last year. Unlike the holiday it represents, there's a lot to like about gourd gouging —
- You can't go buy a freshly carved pumpkin. You have to make one, with your hands.
- What you make won't last. In the end, you're left only with how you made it, and that's what counts.
- And because the process of carving a pumpkin is so darn cheap, the only limitation to experimentation is how many pumpkins are in the patch.
This year my experiment involved a 12-inch diameter pumpkin, a variable speed woodworking lathe, a fingernail bowl gouge, and an IKEA HEMMA cord set, black.
Centering the not-so-round pumpkin on the machine proved most difficult, but persistence eventually struck the right balance.
Turning the pumpkin was great fun, truly. The knife cut so effortlessly, hypnotically even, that by the time I stopped their wasn't much left of the fruit.
In the end I was able to string it up as a highly questionable pendant light, and although I'm not enamoured with the result, I am with the pumpkin turning process.
Now that I know it's possible to spin a pumpkin on a lathe, I can turn my attention to what to do with it. I'll also need to figure out how to keep six pounds of pumpkin goo off the Volvo.
'Til next year!
It's not every day a 200-pound wild animal watches you eat spaghetti. But that was our reality last April when Kathryn and I came home to find this daring doe purposefully pacing our patio.
Now anyone who's tasted my wife's spaghetti would reasonably assume the deer had heard the legend and was there to feast. But in fact, she was there doing what any good mother would do in her hooves — standing guard over two baby fawns that were, by all accounts, born that same day in our backyard. Here's what they had for dinner.
What transpired over the next two weeks can only be described as a hostage situation. With a healthy fear that mom would make good on her threats to finish us, we avoided the outdoors at all costs. To and from the car, and short-leashed bathroom breaks for the dogs was about all she would allow.
On the upside, I was able to snap a few good pictures of the unsuspecting fawns, National Geographic style, through the mini blinds. I pulled one in particular that caught my eye, the babe just two days old [fig.1]. Pan then modeled his skinny deer legs for me, so I could source realistic cast shadows [fig.2]. You can see he either doesn't understand, or is ashamed of his skinny deer legs. I combined the two images to create the art print you see below [fig.3].
Much to my delight, the image was selected as an Editor's Pick in Minted's Through the Lens Photography Challenge, and since has made the rounds on social media.
We can't help but fawn over this adorable artwork from #MintedArtist Andrew McClintock (@bigorangedrink). From behind the lens, the #Texas based photographer explains, "this Spring, my wife and I enjoyed watching two baby fawns grow up on our patio, cared for by their protective mother. This little one was just two days old when I took this picture." Get the look for your home via the link in profile.
Our little deer even made it as far north as Ottowa, Ontario, Canada, hanging over Julie's living room couch, editor in chief of Try Small Things lifestyle blog. She recently wrote about ways to warm up your space for winter.
As an artist, at least for me anyway, this is really what it's all about. If my work can bring a little warmth to a cold Canadian winter, then the world is spinning just right.
A Deer Friend is for sale in my Minted store, in an array of pastels, perfect for nurseries and grown-up walls alike.