While many people can carve impressive pumpkins, Bellaire resident, Ray Villafane is in a class of his own. The two-time winner of Food Network's Outrageous Pumpkin Challenge, does not just carve pumpkins - Instead he creates 3-D works of art - Ghoulish ones of course.
Ray, who is a sculptor and toy designer, first started carving when he worked as a teacher at a school in Michigan. Faced with a pumpkin carving project one Halloween, he decided to tackle it like he was molding a sculpture out of clay, rather than carving a fruit. While he thought it turned out okay, the kids loved it so much that they kept bringing in pumpkins for him to carve.
While his carvings look out of this world, Ray who spends about two hours on each masterpiece, says that he uses the most basic pumpkin carving tools. His key to success is the fruit he selects - Big and heavy, so that there is plenty of flesh to sculpt with and, gnarly instead of perfectly round, to add character to his creations.
While most of his pumpkins are created from imagination, a few like the one of President Obama, were done using a real images, to ensure he got all the features right.
If Ray's pumpkins have inspired you, you are in luck, for the artist had created a step-by-step tutorial, on how to carve one of his most ghoulish creations. Be sure to check it out and give it a try. To see some more of Villfane's scary pumpkins check out www.wix.com/tamzzzz/rays_pumpkins.