Using Clay-Sculpture Tools To Produce Organic Art
The “Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns” exhibit at the Chicago Botanical Gardens was a breath of fresh – albeit pumpkin-spice-scented – air. After months of feeling trapped, increasingly bored with the virtual/streaming/digital distractions, we were starved for something that felt real. Tangible. Organic.Â
The coolest part was that the carved pumpkins were arranged according to themes – first came pumpkins carved with iconic images of scary folklores from different cultures, then endangered animals in Illinois, then Dia de Los Muertos/Santa Muerte, and finally sci-fi magazine covers from the Golden Age. Cool stuff. Much needed.Â
I’ve sorted out the pumpkin-carving designs into some broad general categories. And no, I did NOT upload all 1,000 jack o’lanterns. It just felt like it as I built this gallery.
Baby Freddie Krueger
Looks like he’s gotten a new sweater. But why are the cats so calm?
Baby Pinhead contemplates the box
Not sure why the woodland creatures look so sympathetic.
Jason roasting marshmallows
Awww … he just wanted some ‘Smores.
Jason from Friday XIII
He’s a little offscreen to the left. Sorry.
Alien with curlers feeding baby alien in highchair
A moment of domestic bliss that is hard to imagine. Also, Aliens have no hair?
Dia De Los Muertos Designs
Sleepy Santa Muerte
Maybe she’s having an allergic reaction to the flowers she’s holding against her cheek?
Thoughtful Santa Muerte
The quiet girl you talk to at the party who then captures your soul.
Scheming Dia de Los Muertos
She’s got a dangerous look in her eye.
Skeleton mariachi band
How do you get a good embouchure on the trumpet when you have no lips?
Hopeful Santa Muerte
Unexpectedly powerful image.
Zodiac – Leo
That is a big bitey hat.
Zodiac – Leo
Hat seems to come with an attached tail. Stylish.
Zodiac – Sagittarius
Benefits of being half-horse: you can carry a *lot* more arrows.
Zodiac – Aries
Get the feeling she was a star on the field hockey team.
Zodiac – Taurus
Carrying the red cape from some overconfident matador?
Zodiac – Libra
It was night. Gimme a break.
Zodiac – Scorpio
Hard to play piano with those hands. Upside: never need a bottle opener.
Zodiac – Pisces
Looks like the villain in the Little Mermaid after a Slim-Fast Diet.
Zodiac – Aquarius
Drought-shamers in LA will get on her case for spilling all that water.
Indonesian Floating Vampire Heads
I think these guys were featured in a Hellboy story.
Irish Jack O’Lantern
Check out the Celtic design under the carving.
Samhain – Irish Halloween
And a kitschy 90s metal band.
Another scary, spooky celebration of folkloric monsters.
Haiti looks like basically year-round Halloween.
Bon Festival Japan
Pretty, but where is the scary stuff? Also: French?
India Goddess detail.
Nice nose ring.
Many arms to pass out candy?
Needs a better dentist.
Gai Jatra Nepal
Now this is more like it. Horned monsters, vampires, freaky dudes living in boxes …
Imaginary Sci-Fi Magazine Covers
Fantastic Adventures Sci-fi mag cover
Blasting off from exploding planets is a thing, I guess. Makes people less excited about you visiting.
Strange Stories sci-fi mag cover
Seems surprised that the head comes off.
Startling Stories Sci-fi mag cover
Bug-eyed brains with tentacles SHOULD be shot with ray guns. They hog the good candy. Everyone knows this.
Alien bugs must just find Earth females tasty.
Strange Stories – wide
Igor in the foreground just looks bored.
Challenger Learning Center
I get the tribute – but, um … is this really a good idea?
2024 Humanity Returns to the Moon
Have I missed something? Last I checked, we were still struggling to get into orbit.
Essential Workers & Endangered Species
Tribute to Teachers
Masks and Zoom calls. Yeah, this is more horrifying than the regular old werewolves & zombies.
Paramedic Posing Heroically
Feels like a cel from an anime series.
Allie Quigley, “Queen of Threes”
Tribute to a sharpshooting local WNBA star.
We’ve done it before …
… and we can do it again.
Haven’t seen these guys. Wonder where their natural habitat might be?
Illinois Chorus Frog
I guess they all sing together. Which would be annoying, if you’re trying to sleep.
Striped Dark Scorpion
Didn’t think that scorpion could survive the winters this far north. A justifiably endangered species.
Another view of Scorpion
Hate these guys.
Tribute to cops
The artist was clearly sucking up to law enforcement in the hopes of getting some tickets dismissed.
Constantly Replaced (they rot)
More New Ones Every Week
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