GO BIG OR GOURD HOME: Class teaches art of pumpkin sculpture

Published 2:53 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Wearing an apron over her clothes, Kendra Reed scraped away at the outer skin of the large pumpkin sitting on a table before her as she worked to shape the head of a character from the movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

“I’m pumpkin sculpting, not carving, and there’s a difference because I’m not doing triangles and I’m not going to punch through (the pumpkin),” she said. “It’s kind of like amazing food designs that you see. I’m making the head of Jack Skellington and I’m just trying to cut the head out of the pumpkin and make the head pop.”

Reed was one of three people participating in a pumpkin sculpting class taught by sculptor and Disney Imagineer Terri Hardin and hosted by Reed at McRaven House on Sunday. A similar class was held on Saturday at Cedar Grove.

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“Terri Hardin is a friend of mine from when I lived in California. I took a pumpkin sculpting class from her years ago and it just changed my life,” Reed said. “It was just a chance to get in touch with your creative juices. I decided to fly her in and let other people learn how to sculpt these big Atlantic giant pumpkins.”

Hardin said she got the idea for pumpkin carving from a newspaper article about a wood carver who carved pumpkins.

The carpenter, she said, advised getting pumpkins after Thanksgiving because they were cheaper.

“So I got some but when I used the wood carving tools, I cut my hands all up,” Hardin said, adding she began using ceramic sculpting tools that were easier to handle.

Hardin, who is a judge on the television show, “Outrageous Pumpkins,” said sculpting “just creates something in your body and your spirit that makes you realize that you can do a lot of stuff.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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