Every Halloween I set my goals high for pumpkin carving. I buy the right carving tools, carefully scoop out and clean the insides of my pumpkin. I’ve learned from experience not to free-hand, so instead I follow one of those patterns from a cheesy halloween pumpkin carving book. And every year the same results occur… my pumpkin carvings straight up suck.
I guess I need to take some lessons from Jon Neill. Not only can this talented sculptur create spectacular carvings out of pumpkins, but they are downright frightful! Spot-on perfect for the spooky holiday of Halloween. Check out some of his unbelievable work here…
Jon Neill’s work is so good in fact he is considered a master carver and famous sculptor–in other words, he is paid to carve and create 365 days of the year. His career extends far and wide, and was originally jump started back when his work was used for scenes in Jurassic Park. Since then even the late Michael Jackson has called upon Jon’s freelance skills. And Universal Studios hired Jon to help create T2-3D ride.
Jon’s work can be found in the toy industry, museum exhibits, plus films and television as well. In fact over 50 movies and TV shows feature Jon’s work including The Hunger Games, Paranoia, Spiderman, Priest and A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, just to name a few.
Jon lives in California, but travels all over the United States carving pumpkins for both private and corporate events. On the Neil Art Studios website it describes the company as specializing in “preposterously outrageous carvings in the fall.” Although the demand for Neill Art Studios work has caused Jon to start pumpkin carvings as early as the late summer now.
Jon Neill doesn’t just create incredible pumpkin carvings, he also puts on an entertaining show that demonstrates his wild work first hand, making the sight of his finished carving even more spectacular.
Fast fun facts about pumpkins to get you in the mood for carving:
Pumpkins are native to the western hemisphere only, before Christopher Columbus discovered pumpkins in America, the Europeans had never heard of such a fruit. Yes, that’s right, a fruit! Pumpkins are not a vegetable, they are in fact a fruit.
Pumpkins are grown all over the world, they even grow well in Alaska. The only place pumpkins don’t flourish is in Antarctica.
Originally, the Irish carved turnips but when they discovered pumpkins were much more suited for carving after coming to America, the tradition changed.
The word pumpkin comes from the Greek word pepon which means large melon.
Pumpkin seeds can be roasted for a delicious fall snack.
The largest pumpkin on record weighed an incredible 1,340 pounds, the largest “unofficial pumpkin” weighed even more at 1,458. But since this pumpkin was damaged it was not awarded an official title.
Pumpkins are 90% water.
Native Americans used pumpkins for many purposes, they would flatten empty pumpkins and dry them out in order to create floor mats–clever!
If you happen to live in Laguna Beach, Jon will be at the LCAD on Forest at One Laguna this Sunday October 25th. Here he will be demonstrating a rare pumpkin carving, and raffle tickets will be sold for $10 a piece. The lucky winner gets to take home the incredible pumpkin Jon creates.
Looking to purchase a piece of Jon’s work that is more permanent than a pumpkin? On his website you can purchase miniature sculpters created and designed by Jon, and the best part is that they are only $12.
Jon Neill is currently a contestant on the Food Network’s Halloween Wars, tune in to cheer Neill on!